Text: 1Timothy 5:17-25
God is never an author of confusion. By highlighting on mutual relationships in the church, he balances the scriptures to show his infinite wisdom. From verses 17-18; we see God’ love towards his children, he will not leave them bereft of proper care. In the old testament, he clearly mapped out how the priests and the Levites should be provided for. Today in reference to these principles, through Paul’s instructions we come to have a guideline on how to Minister to our Pastors today. Elders must not be confused with deacons. Elders here refers to pastors, overseers and teachers. Those who have been appointed to preach, teach, lead, organize and care for the church. This passage is one of the basic authority on how they are to be treated. Their physical provision, mental and spiritual health are to be taken into consideration by the congregation. So by this, it is clear that it is a mandate that church members are responsible for their pastors’ well being.
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Paul goes further in verses19-21 to give admonitions on how to handle accusations against elders. He says to not pay attention to it unless confirmed by two or more witnesses. Even at that it must be thoroughly verified and if found to be true must be brought to the notice of the congregation and the elder rebuked openly. We very well know that this open rebuke is for the good of the elder and the church also. It will save the soul of the pastor and heal a church by restoring the fellowship. Where this discipline is neglected it gives room to gossip and churches eventually scatter. Many times, pastors who have fallen into errors become very aggressive when confronted by their church council. Instead of accepting the discipline, many decide to leave the church. Pastors must learn that they are first and foremost children of God before they became appointed ministers, hence only a child that God loves, he chastises.
Laying on of hands in verse 22 intimates us on what must be done before a person is appointed to lead in the capacity of an elder. The apostles in the book of Acts prayed before they sent forth Barnabas and Paul. We must not be hasty to ordain anyone. This is to avoid making a wrong choice or partaking in the sin of others. Verses 24-25 says. Some men’s sins are hidden while some men’s good works also take time to manifest. This means that those to serve as elders should be observed. Time often, will expose a pretentious character and also exonerate someone who is being misjudged. In all, it is our duty as members of any congregation we belong to, to contribute handsomely towards the upkeep of our pastors, especially those whose works demand that they devote all their time to the study of scriptures, praying and caring for the church. Pastors likewise should not become greedy as to see the ministry as a way of amassing wealth and living in affluence. They must maintain a standard of life that shows their chastity and purity of faith in all sacrifice. You may wish to read also; qualification of leaders
Prayer: father we thank you for your wisdom in outlining or us the basic steps to take in the handling of our elders. Grant your church the grace to adhere to these principles so that the church will stand firm as the ground and pillar of truth.