Proclaimer’s Appreciation

Honoring Those Who Teach The Word of God

 

There is a season of the year which is set aside to appreciate those who have the Christ apportioned gift of pastor. (Ephesians 4:11-16) Pastoral Appreciation often is celebrated through a world view. Like: Taking a pastor and his family out to dinner, sending a card to the pastor with names of the congregation on it or having a time of recognition during the service on a Sunday morning. Other things have been done to show honor to the Lord’s servant over the years. Yet, we still see a transition of pastors from pulpit to pulpit before seeing their work coming to a healthy completion. The church is called to discipleship, when a pastor moves on from one pulpit to the next without someone being Biblically mentored into the position of pastoring or shepherding (Greek: ποιμήν poimḗn) the people of God, then God’s best for the congregation was not fully enjoyed.

The Holy Spirit has given a gift for instructing the people of God so they may know His will for them and how to live in a manor worthy of the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 2:12) The people of God are told, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies (προφητεία prophēteía).” The person with the gift of New Testament prophecy proclaims the word of the Lord for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. (“Martin, D. M. (1995). 1, 2 Thessalonians (Vol. 33, p. 184). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.) 1 Corinthians 14:3-4 says, “…the one who prophesies speaks to the people for their up-building, encouragement and consolation…. The one who prophesies build’s up the church.” Many have been edified, consoled and aroused to service for the Lord through someone exercising their gift to proclaim the written Word of God. In this context we are honoring those who exercise this Holy Spirit gift for the forth-telling of God’s will and message. (Barclay, W. (Ed.). (1975). The letters to the Corinthians (p. 128). Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press.)

True Biblical honoring of the person who has the call to publicly read the Scriptures is to enable that person to devote themselves to that task. (1Timothy 4:13) The Apostle Paul told Timothy, …devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have.” (1 Timothy 4:13) The world view and influence of honoring pastors every October has not fixed the tragic results of preachers leaving the ministry of preaching the Word. Of those who would give me an answer to my question, “What is your greatest frustration?” Number one answer was, family and the congregation they serve not protecting their time to fulfill the ultimate call of “Preach the Word.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

In 1994 at the North American Conference of Evangelist, the Billy Graham team put together a great number of Proclaimers of God’s Word to Preach the Word to encourage a new generation of preachers. They were taught the message to proclaim, the character of the messenger, and the new methods to use. Logos Bible software and Sermon Central are host websites with Biblical teachings which build up and equip others to preach the Word of God around the world.

This October, how do you honor the Lord’s gift to the church (Ephesians 4:12) those who are given the charge to preach (2 Timothy 4:2) the Word of God?

Pastoral Appreciation

Pastoral Appreciation

There is no greater blessing than to see obedient Christians exercise their gifts under the guidance of agape love.    Whether it be the gift of helps, administration, evangelism or any of the other gifts clearly described in the Bible, each one is equally important to God, useful to Jesus Christ and can be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

In 2 Corinthians 1: 11 there is a very special person that pastors are especially thankful for–prayer warriors. The greatest missionary of all time, the apostle Paul wrote, “As you help us by your prayers,  then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:11)   Paul writes this as a statement of fact proclaiming that it was the power of God in answer to prayer that enabled him and the ministry team he was working with to complete all that God had for them to do.

Paul’s life was often in danger and it was only by the hand of God that he had been delivered out of it.  Paul also wrote “…But this happened that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God.” (2 Corinthians 1:9)    Yes, Paul knew that it was God who protected them through and delivered them out of their great perils.  He also was not so foolish as to deny or undervalue the secondary cause.  Having first praised God earlier in this chapter, 2 Corinthians 1:11 shows how Paul remembers with great gratitude the earnest prayers of many loving prayer warriors.

The greatest ministry to the pastor of any Bible-believing church is the ministry of fasting and prayer.  The church that looks past the world’s way of doing business and gets serious about praying for their spiritual leaders is the church that God will use to reach the lost and make true disciples of Christ.  Your pastor faces great perils every day, the flesh often tempts him, the world continually draws him and the devil attacks in many different ways.  Most pastors every week search desperately for times of fasting, prayer, Bible reading and study.  Spending time alone with the Lord is the pastor’s food for strength to fulfill God’s calling.  Pastors, now and especially in the near future, need the faithful prayers of those they oversee for the Lord.

An American preacher became the pastor of a London Church.  On the first Sunday there were many converts.  For the next year the Lord’s messages were delivered with power and many lost souls came to Christ.  At the end of that first year this pastor was called to the bedside of a vary ill member of the church who told him how she had passed through a period of rebellion and spiritual darkness because of poverty, lameness and sickness.  Upon repentance God revealed to her that He had given her the privilege of intercession.  On the Saturday night before the pastor’s first Sunday this woman spent the entire night in prayer and had done that every Saturday night since.  As her weak voice ceased, the pastor knew that this wonderful child of God had most certainly ministered to him and the Lord.

October is pastoral appreciation month.  Will you be the one to uphold your pastor in agape love?  Sacrificial prayer warriors have the most appreciation of their pastors.