Summary: What should our attitudes be toward church leaders?
We have spent considerable time looking at the position on elder in the local church.
Such a study can be a tedious one at best. It subject matter is important because it is easy to be critical of people who are “in charge” of things.
I hope that through the message, you have a greater appreciation for our leaders and the effort that it takes to be one. I hope that some of you will desire to be a leader in the church someday.
The final message in my series on leadership focuses on the churches responsibility toward it’s chosen leaders.
As a church, we have some God ordained responsibilities toward our leaders. Refusal to accept these responsibilities puts on cross ways with God, not the church leadership.
TRANSITIONAL SENTENCE: Today we will see what the scripture says about the churches attitudes toward it’s leaders.
WE ARE TO APPRECIATE OUR LEADERS. V12.
1. What does it mean to appreciate our leaders?
a) Let’s see how some of the other versions translate verse 12.
1) (1 Th 5:12 KJV) And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
2) (1 Th 5:12 NIV) Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.
3) (1 Th 5:12 GWT) Brothers and sisters, we ask you to show your appreciation for those leaders who work among you and instruct you.
4) (1 Th 5:12 NLT) Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong.
b) All of the translations catch a part of what Paul is telling us in this passage in reference to our leaders.
1) From a literal standpoint, the KJV is correct in saying “know” your leaders. From the context of the passage, the NASB fits better.
2) We are called to recognize the vital function for which the leaders of the church are gifted for and consequently, we are to have a spirit of cooperation and submission when dealing with them.
2. Why are we to appreciate our leaders?
A. Paul gives us three descriptions of a leader that can help us to understand why we are to appreciate them
1) Leaders diligently labor among us. EXPLAIN.
2) Leaders have charge over us.
Hebrews 13:17 says that they keep watch over our souls as those who will give an account.
3) They teach us, or give instruction to us.
HEBREWS 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
3. Our appreciation toward our leaders will cause us to be obedient and submissive to them.
(Heb 13:17 NASB) Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.
The next attitude we should show to our leaders is………….
WE ARE TO HAVE A HIGH REGARD FOR OUR LEADERS. V13.
1. What does it mean to esteem someone?
a) It means that we hold them in the highest regard. The verb is emphatic!
b) (1 Th 5:13 ICB) Respect them with a very special love because of the work they do with you. Live in peace with each other.
c) (1 Th 5:13 NLT) Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.
d) (1 Th 5:13 NIV) Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
2. What is the basis of our esteem?
a) Our esteem for our leaders does not come from the fact that we are to be submissive or because of some power trip, but it is to based on our love and respect for the work that they do.
b) There are some people that we will have trouble holding in high esteem, but if we can de-personalize the issue and esteem the work of the leader, then it will be no problem to esteem our leaders highly. It is like if you are having trouble respecting a boss or a political leader, if you respect the office or the work, then you can deal with the person.
WE ARE TO LIVE IN PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER. V13.
1. The job of leading the church is tough. It is a joyful experience, but one or two people can make it a bad experience.
2. Hebrews 13:17 tells us that we want to make the job of leading the church one that is a joy for the people leading it!