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5 Facts About Pastors Most Church Members Are Unclear On

You do not want a hireling leading your church, friend. “The hireling flees…because he does not care about the sheep” (John 10:13).

A pastor friend once told his congregation: “Any church can fire me; but none can hire me.” Please do yourself and the kingdom a favor the next time you hear some church member refer to “hiring” a pastor. They are called, and never hired.

3) The pastor is accountable to God for the souls of his congregation.

“Obey your leaders, and submit to those who rule over you in the Lord, as those who will give account for your souls; let them do this with joy and not with grief, for that would not be profitable to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

Hebrews 13:17 ranks among the scariest verses in the Bible. It informs church members that they must submit to their leaders, while warning the leaders they will stand before God and give account for their members. That, as much as anything, is why pastors have to be called.

No one in his right mind would volunteer for such accountability.

Let the pastor take this to heart, and pray daily for his flock. Let him seek God’s will for the sermons. And let him do all in his capacity to see that each one is saved and becoming a healthy disciple of the Lord Jesus.

4) The pastor leads by serving, not by lording.

Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27). 

He said, “He who is greatest among you, let him be as the youngest, and he who governs as he who serves” (Luke 22:26).

“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (I Peter 5:2-3).

Servant leadership is the plan. In the same way Scripture teaches that a wife should submit to her husband, but he himself should serve her and “give himself for her” (Ephesians 5:22-29) rather than dominate her, the Bible teaches that the pastors are overseers of the congregation and should be followed, but they themselves are to serve the people, not lord it over them.

Not nearly enough husbands or pastors get the distinction: They are to follow you, but you are to serve them.

You wouldn’t mind submitting to someone who was intent on serving you. But the husband or pastor who plays the “headship” card (“God put me in charge!”) is seriously out of line and is mistreating the very ones he should be serving.