My Church and I – Part 4

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Introduction

: Last instalment of ‘My Church and I.’


Roscoelilly.org – https://www.roscoelilly.org/what-can-your-pastor-expect-from-you/


I’m sure you have some expectations of your church and pastor. If they don’t meet those expectations you’ll probably be looking for a new church.

I’ve always found that reality interesting because very few people leave a church because of weird theology or some flagrant sin on the part of the leadership.

Usually people leave because of unmet expectations…the more unrealistic your expectations the more churches you’ll be part of in your lifetime

. (As a side note how many churches have you been part of?)

Hopefully you haven’t looked for the unsubscribe button yet. So if you have some expectations (we looked at healthy ones last week) of your pastor what are some Biblical expectations they should have of you?

[

I realize that because I’m a pastor this can sound self-serving. I’m willing to take the risk because so many people I know are first-generation Christians and have no idea what their role is in this unique relationship with their pastors

]. 

What will they teach the second generation of Christians?

If everyone is left to their best guess we will be in a mess.

Maybe that’s why some church experiences are a mess.

So here are my thoughts on what pastors should be able to expect…

1. Followership

Hebrews 13:17

NLT ‘Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit’.

For most of us when we read that…it just irks us. We think of mindlessly following someone off a cliff. God isn’t encouraging you to check your mind at the door, instead Scriptures are encouraging unity.

Scriptures are encouraging you to start from a place of trust. Trust that your spiritual leaders have your best interest in mind. Trust that they aren’t trying to manipulate you or use you. Trust that they are trying to help you and the church become all that God has intended it to be. Trust that your leaders are privy to information that you might not be. Trust that they are looking at things from a broader perspective than what you might be able to currently see. Trust that God speaks to your pastors.


Questio


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: Do you start from a place of trust or from suspicion? If you start from a place of suspicion, you will never enjoy any church experience. You will always find something to be cynical of. Be careful of placing someone else’s sins or shortcomings on your current pastor.

God will hold pastors accountable for where and how they lead the church.

God will hold you responsible for how you followed.

Good leadership can’t achieve optimum results without good followership. 

Tony Cooke, ‘Good leaders need the type of people who will say, “Do what you think is best, I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.’ (

1 Samuel 14:7

) It’s difficult for a church to do great things for God when there isn’t unity.

Transition: The second appropriate expectation a pastor can have from church people is honor.

2. Honor

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

MSG ‘And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!’

How you speak about the office of the pastor matters. How you speak about the person in that office matters. Your children pick up on your attitudes and how you talk about the pastor and how you treat him. If you constantly bad mouth the pastor and the church you attend what do you think your kids’ opinion will be of church? Do you think your children will want to continue in the faith if you are constantly running everything down?

Application

: once had someone tell me they couldn’t find a single good church in the area. They could name something wrong with all of them and within a few weeks they found something wrong with my church too. They failed to realize what the common denominator was. The problem wasn’t all of the churches…they were the problem.

What you are honoring is the office. You are honoring the position and the person God has placed in this position. We see this with David in the Old Testament honoring Saul…even though he didn’t deserve it. David was honoring the position and the fact that God put him there. You are honoring the fact that God is in charge of who is in charge.


Question


: When you think about the spiritual leaders at your church do you think they feel overwhelmed with your appreciation? 

I read somewhere that it takes 10 positives to make up for 1 negative. So if your pastor received 2 negative emails, he’ll need 20 encouraging ones just to get him back to zero.

I’m sure you are happy and love your church, but have you told your pastors that lately?

3. Take care of their needs

This is really an extension of appreciation. There is a strong Biblical foundation for taking care of the physical and financial needs of your pastors. Anyone who tells you a pastor shouldn’t be taken care of financially hasn’t read the Bible.

Galatians 6:6

NLT Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.

1 Timothy 5:17-18

NLT Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”

“Muzzle an ox” was a cultural expression that reflected the practice that greedy farmers used to keep oxen from eating from the wheat they were grinding. Paul is saying don’t be like that stingy farmer. It’s not right to not take care of the needs of your spiritual leaders.

4. Pray for them

If Satan wanted to bring down your church and cause great shame to it what is the most strategic way to do that? Attack a few families who just show up on Christmas and Easter? No, the high value targets are the pastors.

 

If Satan can bring them down the collateral damage is huge. Some people will feel disillusioned, maybe feel like they can’t trust anyone again. Some may walk away from the faith and church entirely. They walk away not because the Bible isn’t true or Jesus isn’t who he said He was, but because of an imperfect human pastor who believed the lies of Satan’s temptation.

Pastors don’t have a heavenly force field around them that makes it impossible for them to sin or do wrong. We are tempted with the same things you are. It’s just as hard for us…maybe harder… because we are a high value target. Pray for your pastors!

What should you pray?

Pray that our minds will be strong and clear.

Pray that our eyes stay fixed on the author and finisher of our faith.

Pray that our mouths speak the truth and life.

Pray that our ears can hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Pray that our hearts will be pure.

Pray that our spirit doesn’t grow fearful or discouraged.

Pray that our backs will be stiff and courageous.

Pray that our hands are humble to serve.

Pray that God gives us wisdom as we lead

.

You probably have requested prayer from your pastor at some point, but do you pray for your pastors? They need it.

Lead your children at night to pray for them. What better way to teach your children that your pastor is appointed by God to be your spiritual leader?

Before you click back or close your browser would you pray for your pastor? Why not send them an email expressing your appreciation? It will mean more than you think!

Pastor Mike Hinojosa’s fair and realistic expectations

:


1. Respect and Honor







2. Cooperation & Participation







3. Grace & Patience







4. Support & Trust







5. Love & Appreciation


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