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

Pastors and church leaders fill noble roles. As such, they deserve respect, support, prayers, gratitude, and extra consideration.

During this Thanksgiving season, let’s add pastors to our “List of Gratitude.” It’s easy to overlook them, take them for granted, or even assume their lives are supernaturally blessed. Some people even foolishly believe pastors have no daily concerns or struggles. However, pastors lead us on the front lines of spiritual warfare. As such, they deserve our love, respect (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13), and support (1 Timothy 5:17-18). Even more so, they need our prayers (Romans 15:30) and submission (Hebrews 13:17).

Pastoral Role

First, a pastor is divinely appointed. Ephesians 4:11-12 confirms God ordained the pastoral role. They “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” Instead of being “momma-called and daddy-sent,” God specifically calls individuals to this role of church leadership.

With that divine appointment comes responsibility. Pastors are accountable to “pay careful attention…to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). It’s easy to lapse into the monotony of church services and activities. Some may even overlook the fact that the church is God’s precious people that Christ ransomed with His blood. Nonetheless, God holds pastors personally accountable.

Finally, consider the unique qualifications of pastors. A pastor must be reputable, committed to his wife, and sober-minded. Also, he must be self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, and able to teach. The list continues. Not a drunkard. Not argumentative. Gentle. Thick-skinned. Not money-hungry. Think that is all? Nope. He also handles his business affairs and family well. Of course, he must be an experienced believer and have a good reputation within the community. That’s all a pretty high standard to uphold, right? How would you or I fit into such a demanding role?

Pastors aren’t perfect. We shouldn’t place them on lofty pedestals of unrealistic expectations. They are God’s divinely appointed leaders. They are directly accountable to God. Additionally, they are specifically qualified leaders. Considering all this, we should be extremely thankful for our pastors. Thank yours today!

Discussion Questions
  1. Have you personally thank your pastor for his service?
  2. How can you encourage your pastors and church leaders?
image_pdfView as PDF & Print