Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chapter 7: Preachers Preach And We should Just Listen. . . Right?

      Have you ever been in a service and was blown away by what was being said? The preaching was so great that we felt like it was just for us. Then we leave and nothing really changed. So the preacher should just preach and we just listen, right? Well, as always, I plan to break this subject up into two parts. In this first part I want to focus on the importance of how we treat the authority over us and the second will be on how we should respond. 
       The first thing I want to do is dispel a common thought toward pastors. Most people think that pastors only really work on Wednesday and Sunday. If you are one of the people who think like this I greatly encourage you to do one of two things. 1) Go take a week and follow your pastor around or 2) sit down with your pastor and ask him/her everything he/she does. See what most people do not understand that along with the many jobs a pastor has he/she still takes time to listen to the voice of God for the people that he/she is over. So a pastor does not just preach, if they are good at their job, they study and prepare to make sure every word spoken from stage is the words of God for their people. My main point here is that preachers do not just preach.
       Now that we know that there is a lot of work put into every message given on Sundays, possibly Wednesdays too, then how should we respond to our leaders? Well with respect, a thankful attitude, and a proper response. Like I said in the beginning, all of my chapters are in two parts so I will not be talking on the response part but more over the respect and thankful attitude. If you attended a church regularly you have chosen to allow the pastor to speak into your life and to be somewhat of your authority in spiritual matters. So by choosing this, you should treat your pastor and his/her words in a different way than most any other person. Most people will enjoy a sermon but simply enjoying what is being said is not the goal of a preacher. A good pastor works hard making sure his/her sermon is the word of God and that it is relevant to all the different groups of people in his congregation. So, we should not just sit and listen like it is some kind of entertainment.

       Respect! Well, the first thing we need to talk about is how to respect our pastors properly. It always amazes me how pastors, at times, get little to no respect from his/her congregation. This goes from when they preach all the way to how, at times, people talk to or about their pastor. I do know that not all pastors are respectable people but I am not talking about those kinds of pastors. The pastors I am talking about are the ones that do their position justice. So, let us tackle the first easy one, calling your pastor (be it youth, music, children, ect.) by pastor. If someone holds the position of pastor, and does the position justice, then we should, out of respect, call him/her pastor. Most people are probably saying duh but you would be surprised that there are people who do not do that, I see this a lot in the generation coming up now. Respect of that person in that position is not just proper but also biblical. How you perceive people is how you will ultimately receive people. With the story of the woman at the well, at first she sees Jesus as some Jewish guy until He began calling out her sins. At that time she says, "I see you are a prophet", then begins to treat him as such until she realizes that He is the Christ. If you do not call your pastor, pastor then this is how you see him/her. If he/she is just some person to you, you are not receiving him/her in the right light nor are you respecting him/her in the position that he/she holds in your life. Jesus was called rabbi by His followers because they respected Him as a teacher, so they called Him such. Next, respect your pastor as he/she speaks from the stage. You would not like someone talking, sending texts, or checking social media when you talk so we should not do it while the pastor is speaking either. Finally, how we talk to and about our pastor. We should always be respectful of our pastors and also build them up and support them when we talk to or about them. Do not even allow anyone to talk bad about your leadership; guard them and support them. If you disagree with your pastor go and talk to the pastor.  Do not be one of those people who gossip or talk behind the pastor's back.
       Thank your pastor! He/she works hard, we have already covered that, and just like how you like to hear "thank you" so do they. Pastor appreciation should not just be one day; it should always happen. Just as much as we should we respect our pastors, we should also thank them. You could drop them a note, send an email, or simply shake their hands and tell them how they are doing a good job. If your pastor has spoken a word to help change your life let them know it. I can promise you that pastors, at times, wonder if what they are saying is actually helping people. Go and tell them that it is. Telling them something as simple as, "Pastor what you have been speaking on is helping me so much", can bring so much encouragement. Simply appreciate your pastor! They are not doing this job to make their bank accounts big, at least not all of them. They do this job because they love God and want to help people. So, just let them know that they are helping you.
       So what does this have to do with making God look bad? Well, simply put, if we do not respect the people God has put in authority over us do we really respect God? We make God look bad by how we treat His leaders. If you went into a place of business and saw an employ disrespecting their boss you would either think that they do not like their job or they do not respect their boss at all. So, if we disrespect our leaders what kind of view are we giving the world? Respect is something we should give to everyone but respect for our leaders should be even more obvious. We need to stop making God look bad because we simply do not respect our leaders.
       Preachers do not just preach and we should not just simply listen. Next chapter will be co-authored again and will touch on our response to words spoken from the stage because pastors are not on stage just saying nice things, they are trying to help us grow in the Lord. Let me end, like I always do, with some questions. Do you REALLY respect your pastor? When is the last time you thanked your pastor? What are some things you can do to show your pastors you appreciate them? What message are your sending by how you treat your pastors, to their face or behind their back?

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