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1 Timothy

Aug 22, 2021 | Randy Gunter

The High Call of Pastors and Congregations

The High Call of Pastors and Congregations

1 Timothy 5:17-25

Pastors should work doubly hard to lead and preach well, while congregations should honor and pay the leaders who do.

Congregations should expect good leadership and effective communication of God’s word from their pastors.  Pastors seek to honor the Lord and the congregation through hard work, and in return, the church honors the Lord and their pastors by valuing them and their work. 

Thank you for the way that you have provided for MeadowBrook pastors and staff.  

Pastors are not above being disciplined for dishonorable work, but the congregation must be cautious, courageous, and unbiased.

No church is perfect, but Jesus is perfecting all true churches. Even though members aren’t perfect, the church must not be discounted.

  • The church is the only organization founded by Jesus (Matthew 16:18, Acts 4:11).
  • The church represents the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23).
  • The church is made alive and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God (Acts 2).
  • Among all creation in heaven and earth, God chose the church to possess and proclaim his word (Matthew 28:19-20).
  • The church is God’s only means for unity among diverse nations, tribes, tongues, and ethnicities (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  • Only the church received God’s promise that the forces of hell could not stop it (Matthew 16:18).

25 …Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV)

By faith Jesus Christ saves people from sin, death, and judgment. However, his work doesn’t end there; it continues. He is sanctifying us—working in us to make us holy.

The primary ways God is making us holy are through the Bible and the Holy Spirit. He also sanctifies the church through the fellowship of the saints and by placing elders before us who model righteous living. Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV)

 What happens when pastors sin and continue in sin? No one expects pastors to be sinless, but the church should expect pastors to not remain in sin. Paul listed the qualifications for being a pastor in 3:1-7, and that same list should be boundaries for a pastor’s life.

All Christians should live authentically, and pastors should lead the way. A pastor’s character, integrity, and reputation are the most important parts of his ministry. If he loses his witness, he is at risk of losing his ministry. So, he and the church must guard it.

Protecting the true reputation of the pastor is the reason why no one should bring charges against a pastor, except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. Similarly, Jesus said: 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 ESV)

With God’s grace, the pastors of his church live to protect our ministry call and the honor of this church and the name of Jesus. However, if any of us fail to live according to God’s call and are unrepentant, you must follow this passage cautiously, but with courage and without bias.

Pastors should not be appointed hurriedly and without prayerful discernment. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22 ESV)

The best way to protect the church from bad leaders is not to place them in leadership positions.

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