In Honor of Pastors: How to Love and Respect Them
These two chapters, "Learning How to Follow Your Leader" and "How to Approach Your Pastor on a Difficult Subject" were originally a part of a larger work about how members could truly love their pastors. I wanted it to be a work where several Baptist senior pastors, whom I knew personally, would write the chapters and I would edit the piece, and possibly write one chapter. All along, I intended on posting it free on the Internet as an e-booklet to reach the most people at no cost. But because of the busy schedules of my friends, they aren't able to finish it. So, it now stands as two chapters with no larger home. Because of my own personal projects, I don't have the time to complete it right now. And I'm not sure I'll ever revive it. Since each chapter stands alone and can be beneficial without the other chapters, perhaps these two pieces can learn contentment as orphans.
While all who follow Christ will suffer persecution, unfortunately, pastors frequently suffer at the hands of so-called Christians. Too often, these trouble makers are congregants, the very ones who should love pastors the most. Jesus never meant it to be this way. David Hansen told the truth about the difficulties pastors face from groups within the church when he wrote, "...How is it possible for a ruling board of twelve kind, Christ-honoring human beings--all of whom have fine, adult intelligence--to make decisions about the way they treat their pastors consistently reflecting a corporate IQ of about 80?" (The Power of Loving Your Church, 20). Too often, churches and the ruling powers within them make choices that negatively affect their pastors. Sometimes these decisions are purposeful and at other times inadvertent.
I hope these chapters will aid the pastor in his task and help members more effectively love him by submitting to him. Ultimately I want members to submit to Christ, but they will show that submission by how they treat their pastors.
The two chapters are aimed at the average church member on the pew to teach him how to love his pastor. I affirm both house churches and the more common institutional churches, but these two chapters will probably be more relevant to institutional churches, where politics and establishment of the-way-it's-always-been have already found deep roots to grow. Also, while I believe in the plurality of elders, and know that many churches have more than one pastor, to keep things simple I typically use "pastor" or "senior pastor."
My special thanks in completing my chapter, "Learning How to Follow Your Leader," go out to Josh Brown, Jeff Mallinson, Paul Wolfe, and my wife Denice. While these people may not agree with every point I make in my chapter, they have all helped improve it. I also want to thank James Rozmus for giving me the interview and for his wise insight from decades of pastoring. (Sometimes to complete a chapter you have to find a retired pastor.)
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"Learning How to Follow Your Leader"
"How to Approach Your Pastor on a Difficult Subject"