Thanking God for Our Church Leaders
David Bahn-Reflections Podcast
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
25 Brothers, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 [ESV]
“It’s a sine qua non.”
“I’m proud of you.”
“Maybe you just shouldn’t be a pastor.”
The first was a comment by my Greek professor in the early years of my seminary studies. I was up against the wall trying to learn the Greek language, and I was asking for some degree of relief from the rigors of study and the requirements for passing. Bottom line: No. You must learn this well.
I hit the books. And, thankfully, passed.
The second was by a different seminary professor after I graduated. “Why’s that?” I asked. “Well when you got here you looked like you didn’t know what was going on. But you did well. I’m proud of you.” Made me happy I buckled down and studied hard.
The third was by a particularly unkind man who was responding to an apology for my part in a difficult exchange between the two of us. My apology garnered further condemnation on his part. No forgiveness. No reciprocal apology. Sad.
I’ve had my share of challenging moments as I’ve served in various churches. I’ve also experienced many joyous moments. The joyous moments, thankfully, have outweighed the challenging ones. And I’ve heard many more words of appreciation than words of judgment. I am thankful to God for having been called to serve the cause of his kingdom as a pastor.
Now Diane and I sit in the pew on Sunday mornings, and I want to go on record expressing my appreciation for my brother pastors and all brother and sister church leaders. Theirs is a vitally-important task. As Paul says here, we are “to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”
I thank God for Mark, Jeff, Michael, John, Al, Steve, Tim, Jason, Jon, Jock, Gail, Linda, Tina, Diane, and many more. I hold them in high regard, and pray that they are completely successful in their service for the cause of Christ’s reign and rule. Long and joyfully may they serve!
I think of you often, and when I think of you I pray for you.
I’m seeing Clint next week and it always brings memories of our days of ministry together and how very blessed I am by friendships formed in those years.
You are very kind to say so. Greet him for me. Blessings to you and your family!