T.K.O. Your Pastor (#1)April 8, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 11 Comments
Tags: 1 Thessalonians 5, copper coins, Ephesians 4, esteem, Hebrews 13, pastor appreciation, pastors, preachers, responsibilities of pastors, T.K.O.
Normally, when we hear the initials “T.K.O.” we think of a referee stopping a fight due to a “technical knockout.” If you have been a Christian for a long time you probably have known at least a couple of pastors you would like to have seen TKO’d in that sense! A pastor is almost always a preacher, too, but they are not exactly the same thing. Some churches have a good preacher who is a poor pastor, and some churches have a good pastor who is a poor preacher. I once read about a church whose pastor was such a great preacher that people thought he should never get out of the pulpit – but he was such a poor pastor, that he should never have gotten into the pulpit to begin with!
Now, however, I’m going to talk about a different kind of “T.K.O.” Applied to the pastor, T.K.O. should stand for: Trust your pastor; know your pastor; obey your pastor.
I. Trust your pastor.
If most Christians are asked whether they trust God, they will unhesitatingly say “yes.” If you trust God, you should also be able to trust your pastor. He is supposed to be appointed by God.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Pastor-and-teacher are two jobs in one office. Two things that a pastor is to do are teaching and preaching – leading and caring for the flock.
Why did God appoint pastors?
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
I remember as a young child thinking it would be a pretty sweet deal to be a preacher: people always inviting me over to their house for fried chicken, only working one day per week. Until I read:
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
I liked the part where it said people were supposed to obey me, and I would have the rule over them. But I was not so crazy about the giving an account part. Especially since it would be the Lord that I would be giving that account to.
Ephesians 4:11 says, “And he gave…” Pastors are ordained or appointed by God. If God trusts them, is it right for us not to, as long as they are not being unscriptural? Because they are accountable, we’re really trusting them to be right with God. Have you criticized your pastor before for less than Scriptural reasons? When we do that, Who are we really criticizing? When we don’t trust the pastor as he obeys the Word, we don’t really trust God.
I. Trust your pastor.
II. Know your pastor.
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
I Thessalonians 5:12
The Bible says to “know” your pastor. Many Christians love to hear their pastor preach – until he starts preaching against their sin! It can be a risky thing to “know” your pastor – to look behind the curtain. But you need to know if your pastor is a man of his word. You need to know if he is a man of integrity. You need to know if he practices what he preaches. You need to know if he will be loyal – if he will stand by his friends.
And you need to be loyal to him. We have to be careful about our attitude when we are approached by someone with something negative to say about the pastor. As Christians we must beware of gossip in general.
I Thessalonians 5:13 says “to esteem them very highly.” “Esteem” comes from an old French word, “ais-temos,” which means a “copper-cutter,” one who mints copper coins or makes copper valuable. So, esteem means “to make someone valuable.” We need to think about our pastor the way we would think about someone we really care about – the way we would think about someone who is very dear to us. When you care about someone, you get to know them, and you make sure they know you are there for them. Sometimes pastors cause church members to stumble by being aloof. They won’t let anyone but their family get close enough to really develop a caring relationship with them. Pastors who are pastoring the right way have a ton of responsibility, and sometimes a pastor needs a “pastor,” too. To whom will your pastor talk when he’s feeling down and discouraged?
We are to know the pastor, and esteem the pastor very highly. We are to show him honor in public, always making sure that God really gets the glory.
When you think about it, the pastor-as-preacher part of his job is to make the uncomfortable people comfortable – and to make the comfortable people uncomfortable. It can be tough. But who will comfort the pastor?
Next time, we’ll discuss the “O” in “TKO Your Pastor.”