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Topical - Philosophy of Ministry (Part 4)

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Welcome to the class this week and the topic of study:  The Loyalty to the Pastor and Pastor Ronnie picks up in 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5 vs. 12-13.  If you turn there we’ll hear from Pastor Ronnie on the topic of Loyalty to the Pastor.

Recognize those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you.  So, here he says to recognize them and it doesn’t mean just to be able to visually pick that person out, and say “Oh that’s the pastor or that’s the assistant pastor or whatever the case may be.  It carries the idea you have to have an appreciation for it to value.  And so here Paul as he is coming to the end of the letter it’s applied to all believers in the church, those that are laboring among you, obviously serving but also it says and are over you.  And the word over here, is a pretty strong word it means to be a leader or to have authority over.  So here, if you want to have peace in the church, and really peace in your life, you need to have a healthy appreciation and a value for those who are over you in the Lord.  The bottom line of what I’ve seen is that you look at authority in the Bible, if you don’t have it, you’re the one who is going to suffer.  To whatever degree rather that’s in your marriage, or that’s in the government, that’s in the church, whether that’s in the spiritual realm like Satan and his rebellion, where they suffered the consequences, God has set up an authority structure and if you want to have a blessed life and a blessed ministry in the health within the body of Christ then you follow the scripture.  It really doesn’t matter you know, sometimes people are looking I think for perfection within a leader, and you are not going to find that, you are always going to find something that is not 100% right because the person is an individual.  If you want to grow, if you want to mature, then you have to have that healthy appreciation and realize there are people that have authority over your life in the body of Christ.  Now the balance is that Peter says in Chapter 5, don’t Lord over the flock, those that are elders.  Don’t rule over them as a tyrant but you do rule over the body of Christ in a place of leadership.  There is always a higharchy there is always a structure and if you are not in that place of leadership, it says appreciate them, value them that are laboring those that admonish you, teach and they are going to teach and correct.  And then he adds even further in vs. 13, and esteem them very highly in love and this word we could translate it over abundantly or super abundantly.  Paul mentioned this in 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 3 vs. 10 this word, where he says night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face.  So there is an emphasis on the word, it’s not just esteem somebody but its an exaggerated term.  Esteem them very highly in love and for their works sake.  God’s called them, God’s appointed them and so you need to have a love for those that are leading you or it’s just not going to work.  And the bottom line is I see how it fits within a pastor and a member within the body of Christ, if you don’t have a love for your pastor an appreciation and a respect you’re going to come into the body of Christ and you’re going to be sitting there with more of a critical attitude towards the individual teaching rather than a readiness to receive the Word of God.  You’re really going to have something of a heart that’s not ready to receive from the individual and you’re going to suffer.  And I think that’s what happens in people’s hearts, they loose respect or maybe something happened and they make a decision and they let that murmuring heart kind of grumble and its sitting there and they come to church and they come with that attitude, you can’t see it on people’s faces, it’s just happening in the hearts.  And so, basically, eventually they end up drying up spiritually or plateuing out and not growing.  And then they’ll say, Well, I’m not fed there anymore.  Well, you’re not being fed there anymore.  Well, you’re not being fed there anymore because your heart is hard towards the individual that is teaching.  And so you’re cutting off the life source that God brought to your life.  And so if you are going to receive all that the ministry has, it’s on your part to have a love and an appreciation and respect for those who are in leadership.  If not, you are cutting your own life source off.  Now, there are times when you’re in the wrong place and you do need to move.  I’m not saying that you go to one church and you’re there until you die.  I don’t find that necessarily to be the case, there are times you move on, but you move on immediately.  You move on without making, screaming on the way out, and trying to drag other people with you.  You know, I just seen the devil use that when someone is disgruntled.  And they think they are the preserver of the church, I need to bring these people out and preserve them from that ministry or from that pastor or whatever and it’s under the guise of love but really it’s just seeds of rebellion, resistance in the heart of an individual.  Let’s say the pastor makes a decision to change the service to Friday night, (Oh, I want a Thursday), you know, hey what’s the difference?  It’s a doctrinal issue, there is a heretical point, I think there are different ways to handle it.  But if it’s a matter of opinion, and that’s usually about 99% of the time, it’s a matter of opinion, that someone doesn’t like, they start moaning in their heart and they are being disgruntled.  I think that’s where the majority of it is, guised in, you know I’m not being fed, or it’s just not the same around here any longer and it’s probably that person’s heart that has changed.  That’s the majority of the cases that I have seen.  You know, if you are going to thrive spiritually, you have to follow here what the scriptures say, and that means to esteem them very highly and love for the work that they do, the labor that they put in and it says, be at peace within yourselves.  He’s talking about being at peace with those that are in leadership as well as those within the body of Christ.  Without that there won’t be a healthier productive ministry.  Now, turn over to Hebrews Chapter 13 vs. 7 and then we’ll look at vs. 17 as well.  Remember those who rule over you and have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow considering the outcome of their conduct.  So here it speaks of remembering them obviously with an appreciation with a value that a ruling over so, it’s very clear in scripture that there is a structure, there is a place of authority there are individuals that lead and there are others that are called to follow.  And he says, remember them, and obviously be thinking kindly of them as well as in prayer as well as following their example they have set.  Now look at vs. 7 it gets pretty strong, obey those who rule over you.  And obey means to obey.  There is no other way to translate, don’t try to water it down, it means being obedient and then it says being submissive.  I think obedience is the outward action, submissive is the attitude of the heart.  If you are asked to do something, you do it.  But you do it with a submissive attitude, not like, well, I know better and this is the way it should be done, and you know, that’s totally unproductive and so the Lord wants a spirit of humility and a lot of times I think the bottom line when there is friction is over pride.  I think I can do things better than this individual or I have a better plan.  It doesn’t matter if you have a better plan, maybe yours is a better plan but God hasn’t called you to lead.  God has called you to follow and so it’s now your responsibility to follow in what God is directing the leadership to do.  As long as it’s not something contrary to scripture, usually it isn’t.  It isn’t a matter of opinion.  So God’s entrusted a leadership decision making power with individuals in the body of Christ and if someone is over you and the Lord then you are to obey and you are to be submissive.  And that takes humility.  I think the bottom line is pride, when we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to.  And so there is an attitude being submissive to those in charge.  Now, the good thing about following is, if you are asked to do something and it’s a flop, then the leader takes the brunt of it.  And you just have to say, Hey, I’m just following the person the Lord has put in my life, I’m leading what they have asked me to do, if it doesn’t work out then it’s on their shoulders.  But either way, that has no determination on your role.  Now, I love the

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