Know Your Pastor
You should get to know your pastor. There’s no end of books on pastoral ministry on how a man should interact with the church. I once read a book that had a lengthy section on personal hygiene with deodorant and breath mint recommendations. Pastors should desire to get to know their congregants, obviously. But you don’t hear much on the actual Scriptural admonition for the church members to get to know their pastor (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
Paul knows the leadership at the church, and so there is the assumption that the elders are doing good work. Yes, there are bad pastors. Always has been. Always will be. But the premise here is that the pastor is doing the work of the ministry. He’s laboring in the church. He’s studying, reading, praying, and meditating on the Scripture, and prepared to preach. He’s laboring in the local church. Not among all the other churches, but the church where he is the pastor. Not only should he be with the people, but he shouldn’t be meddling among others. He’s also doing the right work the right way because the church is admonished to esteem him and love him for the work’s sake. If a pastor is preaching heresy, being lazy, not studying, and muttering and sputtering like he needs his carbs cleaned, he’s not doing the labor that deserves esteem. He might be a swell guy, and you can like him for being nice, but not for the work’s sake.
Where was I? Oh yes. Church members should get to know their pastors. It’s to your benefit. How can your pastor help you if you are rarely, if ever, around him? If you never come to church, never respond to calls, or make any effort to be active with the church, you can’t exactly fault the pastor for not knowing you are having a bad week. Paul instructs the church members to get to know their pastor, and if you don’t, you are only hurting yourself.
Speaking of accountability, that’s another reason why you should know your pastor because he’s over you in the Lord. If he admonishes you, he’s probably been thinking about it for a while or praying that you would receive it as it was intended, with love. If you know your pastor, then you’d know he loves you and isn’t trying to be mean for meanness sake. You’ll find out he’s a sinner saved by grace, resting in Christ and exhorting you to do the same. Having a fellow sojourner over you is much different than a complete stranger. You should also love them and esteem them for the work’s sake. They labor and work in the church for your benefit. They study, not merely to be a good preacher but so you can better know Jesus through the Scriptures. The Christian life is meant to be lived with other believers. Knowing the men whose life work is to help you walk with Christ will do you good.