What’s the best way to serve, support, encourage and enable your pastor to fulfil his calling and ministry as a teacher of scripture?
Money or a pay rise? That would be, except for a few guys on Benny Hinn’s staff, appreciated and go a long way to reducing some of the pressures on his life and family. But no, that’s not the first thing you could be doing.
Stop criticising him, attacking him, gossiping about him, undermining him in front of others and behind his back? Well, again, that would be wonderful for him to not have to suffer the pain of your sinful proclivities and he would be considerably more inclined to listen to you if every sentence out of your mouth wasn’t so offensive. But, that is still not the first thing you could be working on to serve him better.
Get him a new computer? Open up a unlimited charge account with Logos or his favourite bookstore? Give him a new car? Pay for him to have an overseas holiday with his wife and children? etc etc? All of these are nice things to do and might even be necessary in some instances, but they shouldn’t be your first resort.
In 1 Corinthians 4:1-7 Paul talks about his status and relationship with the Church. When considering how people should respond to him, his request is simple.
“that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written” ~ 1 Corinthians 4:6
He says this in the context of whether they should be critical of his leadership and teaching. While he doesn’t actually say, “Don’t criticise me“, he does caution them against a premature assessment of him. He also wants to ensure that any such assessment is in light of God’s judgement of whether he has been trustworthy with his responsibility to manage the distribution and publication of the gospel. In that case, scripture is the arbiter for his performance measurement. Not tradition, culture, popularity or your opinion – not even his own clean conscience!
The best thing you can do to serve, support, encourage and enable your pastor to fulfil his calling and ministry as a teacher of scripture? Don’t go beyond what is written! Be a student of scripture yourself. Be like a “Berean“. Let the pastor’s sermon not be the only input you receive from scripture. Let it be a highlight and touch point that compliments and enhances your habit of immersing your heart and mind in the Word of God. Labour with him to cultivate and enrich your understanding of revelation so that, instead of being puffed up in favor of one against another, you boast in God as your highest allegiance and deepest devotion.