Summary: # 10 in series on 1 Timothy this message deals with how we are to honor those who serve in leadership of the local church.
Living for Christ in a Confused and Confusing World
A Study of Paul’s Letters to Timothy
Sermon # 10
The Office of Pastor
In our last study we examined the first part of chapter five (5:1-16). This part of the text looked at the third major topic of the letter, that of church leadership. The first sixteen verses of chapter five dealt with the office of the deacon and now the remainder of the chapter (vv. 17-25) deals with the office of pastor.
Paul has previously talked about the role of the pastor in (3:1-7). You will remember that in our study of that portion of the letter that we noted that the New Testament uses several different words to describe the function of the same office we call, Pastor. Whether referred to as Pastor (poimen-literally meaning Shepherd), Elder (presbuterus- referring to maturity) or Bishop (episkopos – meaning overseer) they are all functions of the same office!
Paul begins this section of the letter by telling the church, “Let the elders (presbuterus) who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.”
It is unfortunate that word “rule” is used here to describe the pastor’s work. That word in our world implies that these men are the bosses, that they have to be obeyed, and that they are governors over the congregation. But actually the word (prosestates) means “leads” and it is the common word for leadership. So the verse would read “Let the pastors who lead well be worthy of double honor.”
Paul goes on to say “… especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” Although it little understood by someone who has never had the responsibility to prepare messages, it is hard work if it is done correctly. Sometime this is seen in that church members are sometimes hard pressed for the right thing to say to the pastor after the service have.
One pastor said that the following have been said to him.
•“You always manage to find something to fill up the time.”
•“I don’t care what they say, I like your sermons.”
•“If I’d known you were going to be good today I’d have brought a neighbor.”
•“Did you know there are 243 panes of glass in the windows?”
•“We shouldn’t make you preach so often.”
One of my personal favorites; was when someone told me, “Preacher that wasn’t half bad.”
One who’s responsibility is to break the word of God to his people should come to the pulpit prepared. I love the story that was told that, “One pastor never prepared during the week, and on Sunday morning he’d sit on the platform while the church was singing the hymns desperately praying, “Lord, give your message, Lord give me your message.” One Sunday, while desperately praying for God’s message, he heard the Lord say, “Ralph, here’s my message. You’re lazy!” [www.bible.org/illus/pastoring]
Paul has said in verse seventeen that the one who is worthy of honor is the one who “labors in word and in doctrine.” The word “labor” (kopiao) means to toil or work hard.
Paul having set out the reason why pastors should be honored he now sets out to explain how this honor is to be displayed.