And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13a
Though my family and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in any extravagant way, I enjoy using that week as a time to show them a little extra love, and to meditate upon Scripture about love.
The Lord asks that we love our neighbor, our spouse, and our children, and we can all recall verses with those themes; but not often do verses leap to mind (my mind, anyway) that direct us to love our pastor and other church leaders.
And they deserve that love – not for who they are as people, but for what they do: for their life’s work, as the passage above explains.
I have a pastor who is easy to love. He’s joyful, wise, and genuine. He’s a peacemaker and a humble servant. He’s a student of Scripture. But the Bible says I’m to love and honor him most of all for his work as a pastor, regardless of his talents and personality.
In this verse, the Greek word for love means “benevolence; a love-feast.” Our pastors and ministry leaders need us to regularly offer a table laden with love, a celebration filled with the best we can offer them.
In the past, I’ve had pastors and church leaders who were, perhaps, not very charismatic or friendly.
They were not easy to truly love.
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul knew that we church members would need admonishment to love such church leaders who, in themselves, are not easily lovable – but for their work, they deserve our deepest respect and love.
Have you told your pastor lately that you were touched by a sermon? Do you send notes of encouragement or birthday cards to your church leaders or children’s ministry teachers? Do you offer to help them?
Do you pray for them?
These verses have certainly challenged me to demonstrate abundantly to my pastor and other church leaders my appreciation of their work in the ministry.
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. – Romans 15:30
Do you have some suggestions for how to offer a “love-feast” to church leaders? I welcome your comments!