Hebrews 13:7 “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”
In everything in life, we must strike the proper balance otherwise you’ll fall. Just ask any kid trying to learn how to ride a bicycle for the first time without training wheels. Some have taken the principle of “remembering your preacher” to an extreme where they think he walks on water. In some situations, preachers have been worshipped as if they are God. That should make every Christian sick to their stomach. There is only one person who deserves our worship and adoration and that is the LORD Jesus Christ. With that said, the other extreme is where Christians ignore the importance of the Pastor in their life. God gave you a Pastor for a reason. Ephesians 4:11-16 talks about how a Pastor was given to help the church with maturity, ministry and to be grounded in doctrine, etc. Every church member should do their part to encourage their preacher. A September 2015 Lifeway Research Survey highlights the fact that the Pastors involved in this survey were under stress in many areas of life and ministry but were not quitting in droves like we are all led to believe. While not a Southern Baptist I think there are some interesting points here that apply to any Christian, Church & Pastor. Full disclosure, I left the Southern Baptists to become an Independent Fundamental Baptist. My reasons are many and just as relevant today as they were in the early 1990s when I left. I share this information only to help us see the bigger picture. The results state, 84% of pastors surveyed say they are on call 24 hours a day. 80% expect conflict in their church. 54% find the role of pastor frequently overwhelming. 53% are often concerned about their family’s financial security. 48% often feel the demands of the ministry are more than they can handle. 21% say their church has unrealistic expectations of them.
Hebrews 13:7 says, “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.” The context of this obviously deals with your Pastor because this person has “spoken unto you the word of God”. This person also has “the rule over you” as in a shepherd/pastor leading the flock. We are told to follow their faith. We are told to “consider the end of their conversation” (look at the end of their life and where they are headed). The word “conversation” is an old English word that means behavior. I should see where my Pastor is headed with his life, I should follow the example of his faith and I should REMEMBER him.
You can remember your Pastor in many ways. One important way is to make sure his family is financially taken care of in terms of his salary and benefits, etc. I Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.” The next verse deals with not starving the animal that helps to feed your family and produce an income. In other words, the Pastor of your church should have his financial needs taken care of, so he doesn’t have to work a second job. That will enable him to FOCUS 100% of his time on the church/ministry. In fact, Paul told Timothy he should be worthy of DOUBLE honor. I would take that to mean he should be paid at the minimum the average wage whatever people in his area/church earn. To be in alignment with Scripture you should take that average wage amount and DOUBLE it (re-read the verse). There is an old saying, “you get what you pay for”. Any preacher who is in it for the money, isn’t worth the money given to him! Any preacher who is not in it for the money, is worth every penny paid to him. If you can lighten his load and ease his burden for his family, then he can help to lighten your load and carry your burden as well. Do the small things such as throwing a party at the church to celebrate his birthday or wedding anniversary. Make much ado about his anniversary at the church as the Pastor. Write notes of encouragement with small inexpensive gifts that will encourage him (e.g. candy, inexpensive gift cards for a cup of coffee or a sandwich, free car wash, etc.). Keep in mind the Pastor doesn’t get paid by the hour. The more hours he puts in, the less he actually makes. He doesn’t get paid extra like those who work in the manufacturing industry. He doesn’t receive overtime pay for overtime work because there is no overtime in the ministry. He doesn’t receive yearly stock options, quarterly performance bonuses, Christmas/End of The Year bonuses, etc. The only thing he receives is the peace in knowing He is doing God’s will and the occasional thank you from church members that he serves. Whatever you do, whether it’s in financial compensation, recognizing his birthday, recognizing his wedding anniversary, celebrating his anniversary at the church or blessing his family at Christmas time be sure to REMEMBER him.
Pastor Jeff Harris
Anchor Baptist Church | Hilton, NY