7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. ~ Hebrews 13:7 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
When you’re sitting in the coffee shop, folks at other tables often carry on conversations loud enough for everyone to hear. No doubt you’ve heard folks discussing “the things that are wrong with our church.” Or maybe they were discussing another topic closely related to that one, namely “the things that are wrong with our preacher.”
We’re probably all a little guilty of expressing our opinions on those subjects. But we need to be careful. Negative talk is not good advertising for your church. When hearing these kinds of criticisms, the thing I most often think is, “I’m glad I’m not a part of THAT congregation.”
Just for fun, let’s put the shoe on the other foot. What if all the preachers met at the coffee shop and had a discussion about their church members? What would your pastor say about you? The Scriptures teach that not all church members are created equally when it comes to how they treat their pastors. Some bring their preachers great happiness and comfort; others are a constant source of discouragement and pain.
The Apostle Paul says it this way in his letter to the Hebrews:
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV)
From personal experience, words cannot convey how wonderful it is when church members strive to be a blessing to their pastor. It makes the work of the ministry a work of joy, quite a lot like Heaven on Earth. So strive this week to do your best never to be “a pain.” Instead, live in such a way that it brings your pastor great joy.
And while you’re at it, why not invite him to the coffee shop?
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where all the cars are “yellow with pollen” this week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).