Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Pastor’s Joy + Church Members

Tony Reinke @ mentions how joy-filled pastoring is partially dependent upon joy-filled church members. So how can members of a local church help foster joy in their pastor? This topic is discussed in this third excerpt from the upcoming Sovereign Grace Leadership Interview podcast (“The Pastor + Joy”).


Joshua Harris
: For non-pastors listening who are asking, “How can I be a joy to my pastors?”, what are ways they can be encouraging and boosting the joy of their pastors?

C.J. Mahaney: Well, excellent question. In Hebrews 13:17 we read, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” [ESV]

So for all those who are listening, that is an excellent question to be asking. This is a biblical question: How can I make pastoring a joy for my pastor?

I think one would be wise to begin with a text like this and to recognize the priority of making it a joy to serve in pastoral ministry by your appreciation of those in pastoral ministry—your appreciation of their character, their care, their labor, their unique work on your behalf. So there is an appropriate responsiveness expected of you towards their leadership and service in the context of the local church that will make it a joy for them to pastor.

And it would be wise for everyone listening to ask another question: Am I a joy to pastor?

And don’t confine the evaluation of yourself to yourself. I would encourage everyone listening to approach your pastor and ask, “Am I a joy for you to pastor? And if not, why not? I want to be a joy to pastor. I want to bring you joy in pastoring.”

So I think Scripture is clear: By appreciating the character of their pastor and the labor of their pastor, by encouraging their pastor, by the member’s own participation in the local church, they can be a pure joy to pastor.

God wants happy pastors. Any other kind of pastor does not accurately represent God. Yet happy pastors are, to some degree, dependent on individuals who make it a joy to pastor.

No comments: