For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?… So then, no more boasting about men! What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task… So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. (1 Corinthians 3:4, 5, 21-23)
Who is your favorite pastor? What should members of a congregation expect or require of their pastor? We all have our opinions, don’t we? But only one opinion counts – God’s.
The apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy clearly states the qualifications for a pastor and shepherd of God’s people. He says, In the presence of God and of the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4: 1,2)
We have each been blessed with special gifts from God. However, He does gift each of us differently. Imagine how boring our world would be if He didn’t. Rather, …each man has his own gift from God. One has this gift, another has that. (1 Corinthians 7:7)
Some pastors are dynamic speakers – some are not. Some are good at working with youth/teens/children – some not so much. Some have a talent for getting the point across in fewer words… some maybe not. Some are outgoing, type “A” personalities… some are quiet and laid back. But when all is said and done, the most important thing is that our pastor preaches the truth from scripture. We don’t go to church on Sunday to worship the pastor. We go to church to worship God and hear His Word taught in its truth and purity. We go to praise God, to strengthen and build up our faith, and for fellowship with others who share in the same faith and beliefs that we possess.
In the opening verses above, the apostle Paul is chiding the Corinthian Christians for favoring one pastor over the other and pitting them against each other. He reminds them (and us) that all pastors are mere men. They have each been called to do the work assigned to them, first and foremost, planting the seed of faith in human hearts, and watering it through preaching and teaching the Word. Paul says, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)
Only when what we are hearing taught is not the truth from Scripture, can we say that our pastor has failed us. So, let’s not be too picky about the little things. Listen to the Word carefully and make sure it matches the teachings in Scripture. Beyond that let’s cut our pastor some slack. Pastors are people too. Some are more gifted in certain ways than others, but when they have a heart for God and for the souls of the members they have been called to lead, and when they are preaching the truth, we can be thankful.
If you are a member of a large church as I am, and there are two or more pastors serving your congregation, give them each the respect they deserve. Don’t determine which Sunday, or service you will attend according to which pastor is preaching. They have each been called by God to shepherd His people.
Pray for your pastor/pastors. They’re job is stressful at times. They carry a huge responsibility. Be supportive and volunteer to use your own God-given gifts and talents to help with some of the smaller things. In this way your pastor will have more time to concentrate on what he has been called by God to do – preaching and teaching the Word.
If you have a problem with something your pastor does or doesn’t do, speak to him privately with a loving and understanding heart. It is possible he can give you some insight which will help you to better understand why things are done or not done a certain way.
Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10: 24, 25)
I found the following on the website http://www.frtommylane.com. I’m sure it will make you chuckle.
The Perfect Pastor
The perfect pastor preaches exactly 10 minutes.
He condemns sin roundly but never hurts anyone’s feelings.
He works from 8am until midnight and is also the church janitor.
The perfect pastor makes $40 a week, wears good clothes, drives a good car,
buys good books, and donates $30 a week to the church.
He is 29 years old and has 40 years’ experience.
Above all, he is handsome.
The perfect pastor has a burning desire to work with teenagers,
and he spends most of his time with the senior citizens.
He smiles all the time with a straight face because he has a sense of humor
that keeps him seriously dedicated to his church.
He makes 15 home visits a day
and is always in his office to be handy when needed.
The perfect pastor always has time for church council and all of its committees.
He never misses the meeting of any church organization
and is always busy evangelizing the unchurched.
The perfect pastor is always in the next church over!
If your pastor does not measure up,
simply send this notice to six other churches that are tired of their pastor, too.
Then bundle up your pastor and send him to the church at the top of the list.
If everyone cooperates, in one week you will receive 1,643 pastors.
One of them should be perfect!