My Pastor & Elders – 1 Thessalonians 5
Prepared by Ps Phelim Doherty River City Apostolic Church Derry/Londonderry
In today’s reading we see the apostle Paul writing to the Thessalonians of those who “labour among you and are over you in the Lord”. The word ‘labour’ can be defined as ‘growing weary or exhausted’. He was acutely aware, not just of the wearying effect of the physical challenges of ministry, but also the pressures of carrying a daily concern for the people under his care (also see 2 Corinthians11:28).
The external challenges of church leadership can be seen in the weekly schedule. What is not so obvious, is the emotional and mental strain of carrying both the weight of a congregation’s expectations and their fears and griefs.
Jesus primarily appointed the first overseers of His flock, that “they would be with Him” (Mark 3:14). When Paul then instructs believers to ‘esteem highly in love’ those who have care over them, his desire is for them be so filled with the Holy Spirit, that elders would daily discover that to be with the Church, is to be with Christ,;for Christ is rejoicing always, praying without ceasing and in everything giving thanks.