Encourage Your Spiritual Leaders: Hebrews 13:7 & 17
“7) Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” Hebrews‬ ‭13:7‬
The writer now talks about spiritual leaders. This is a huge theme in Scripture. Spiritual leaders are to be held in honor, respect and surrounded by prayer. The church is also responsible to care for their physical needs and support them financially. (See 1 Corinthians 9:7-14)
At the same time, pastors should be examples of godliness, Christian virtue and faith. They should be good shepherds of the flock God entrusts to them. (See 1 Peter 5:1-4) Ministry is not a career, it is a calling. It is a holy anointing and mandate from the Lord.
The writer returns to this theme in Hebrews 13:17; “17) Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” Ministry is hard work. A pastor walks with people through every kind of life circumstances imaginable. He keeps watch over their souls, as those who will give an account. They are teachers, cheer leaders, mentors and encouragers. Sometimes they also need to discipline and correct wrong behavior.
Pastors are called to be disciple makers. (See 2 Timothy 2:1-7) They are responsible to preach and teach the Word of God with accuracy, clarity and boldness. (See 2 Timothy 4:1-8) They have a high and noble calling. They will endure much hardship fulfilling their calling because people can be cruel and Satan targets them.
Just as Jesus laid down His life for the church, a good pastor also lays down His life for His people. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12, Paul compared ministry to parenting. There is a similar commitment and cost to being a good parent. This is a great illustration of pastoral ministry.
Hold them in honor and surround them in prayer. A pastor can make or break a church. The opposite is also true. A church can make or break a pastor. Take good care of your spiritual leaders, and do not expect perfection. They are in the process of growth as well.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global