The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. (I Timothy 3:1, ESV)

Our church leaders fill noble roles and deserve our respect, support, prayers, and consideration.

During this Thanksgiving season, let’s add one more group of people to our “List of Gratitude” – our pastors. It’s easy to overlook them, take them for granted, or even assume their lives are supernaturally blessed and void of daily concerns or struggles. However, as our leaders on the front line of spiritual warfare, pastors deserve our love and respect (I Thessalonians 5:12-13), our support (I Timothy 5:17-18), our prayers (Romans 15:30), our submission (Hebrews 13:17) and our closer consideration.

First, the position of pastor is one of divine appointment. In Ephesians 4:11-12, pastors are among several positions that are ordained by God “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” So, God specifically calls individuals to this role of church leadership.

With that divine appointment comes positional responsibility. In addition to equipping the saints and building up the church, pastors are accountable to “pay careful attention…to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). A common danger for believers is lapsing into the monotonous familiarity of the scheduled church services and activities and losing sight of the fact that the church is comprised of God’s precious people whom Christ ransomed with His life. The privilege of church leadership comes with direct accountability to God.

Finally, let’s consider the tremendous qualifications for the position. A pastor must be reputable, committed to his wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not argumentative, gentle, not thin-skinned, not money-hungry. He must handle his own affairs and family well, be an experienced believer, and hold a good reputation within the community. A pretty high standard to uphold, right? How would you or I fit into such a demanding job description?

Pastors aren’t perfect and shouldn’t be placed on the lofty pedestal of unrealistic expectations. But they are God’s divinely appointed, directly accountable, and specifically qualified leaders who lead us on a daily basis – even with our collective flaws! This should make us extremely thankful for our pastors. I encourage you to thank them today!

Discussion Questions

  1. When was the last time you personally thanked one of your pastors for their service?
  2. What are some ways we can encourage our pastors and church leaders?