A Pastor’s Confession
Confess your faults one to another… —James 5:16
I have a confession to make.
I confess, last Sunday morning I didn’t feel like going to church! That may be an eye-opener to some who know I am a pastor. But, unfortunately, it is true. You ask, “Preacher, why didn’t you feel like going to church?”
- Because I woke up with a bad head ache that wouldn’t go away.
- Because I was very tired from not getting much sleep Saturday night. (I stayed up too late working on a sermon).
- Because there was a game on TV Sunday I wanted to see.
- Because I knew there would be people at church who don’t like me and gossip about me.
- Because I knew some people couldn’t care less about what I have to say.
But, in spite of all these reasons, I went to church anyway! Do you know, why? Because it was the right thing to do (Heb. 10:24-25)!
[These are from some notes I took at a meeting of the Fellowship of Northwest Independent Baptist Pastors in June, 1994. Dr. Jim Vineyard was the speaker. I recently found them in the flyleaf of one of my old Bibles.]
10 Ways to Help Your Pastor, Your Church, and Yourself
When you help your pastor, your are helping your church. When you help your church, your are really helping yourself, since you are part of the church. So, do yourself a favor and help your pastor…
- Treat your pastor with love and respect (1 Thess. 5:12-13).
- Follow him as he follows Christ (1 Cor. 11:1)
- Pray for him daily. Praying for your pastor will keep you from being angry or bitter towards him.
- Obey him in all Scriptural matters (Heb. 13:7, 17).
- Do not speak against him or listen to those who do (1 Tim. 5:1, 19).
- Support him financially (1 Tim. 5:17-18).
- Encourage him. Say, “Amen” while he is preaching. Tell him when he has helped you. [NOTE: He has probably helped you the most when he has either rebuked you or corrected some error in your life.]
- Be patient and understanding with him and his family.
- Stay busy serving the Lord. It is usually idle people who cause most of the pastor’s problems.
- Be a blessing to your pastor by bringing souls to Christ and to church.
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof… — 1 Peter 5:2
I meet weekly with some of the men of our church as we are studying The Spiritual Leader by Dr. Paul Chappell. Last week we discussed Dr. Chappell’s comments on 1 Peter 5:2 regarding the Pastor’s responsibility to “oversee” God’s flock. Peter says “taking the oversight thereof.” Paul affirmed this to the elders of the church at Ephesus: “Take heed… to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you OVERSEERS…” (Acts 20:28). The pastor/shepherd is to keep a watchful eye over each and every sheep.
Proverbs 27:23 says, “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Dr. Chappell comments on this verse: “A wise shepherd will know the sheep. Someone has wisely said, ‘Shepherds smell like sheep.’ Nothing can replace the time you spend with your church family… Immerse yourself in their lives and know what they are going through.”
It is difficult to take “the oversight” when some sheep are “out-of-sight.” The shepherd is left wondering where they are or why they are missing. They rarely, if ever, confide with their shepherd the trials and battles they are facing.
If you are a pastor reading this and you have a shepherd’s heart, you understand exactly what I’m saying. If you are a sheep under a pastor’s oversight, let him know what you are going through so he can help and pray for you. He cares.