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Read Introduction to 1 Thessalonians


“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you…“


who labor among you,

There are three qualities in leaders that the congregation is to “recognize.”

The first feature is those “who labor among you.” The Greek word indicates that the church leaders at Thessalonica labored to the point of exhaustion. Someone said about his pastor, “He is incomprehensible on Sunday and invisible during the week!” Most evangelical pastors I know work hard. They put in far more than forty hours a week. Jokes about working for one hour a week are just not true. On the contrary, most pastors give many hours to their ministries.


Pastoring a local church is hard work.


Pastoring a church is hard work. As a pastor, I spent at least twenty to thirty hours a week studying, not counting administrative duties and meetings. If you are thinking about the pastorate as a career, you need to carefully evaluate that decision. It will take sacrifice and a deep commitment to doing the job properly. It will not be easy, but it will be the most gratifying career in the world.

Pastors see much heartache. They see the problems of people up close and personal. This is a grievous task but a necessary part of their job. To watch people go through a divorce, get on drugs, and deal with alcohol, breaks the heart of pastors that care about people.

The pastors’ main labor is in the Word and doctrine. Many pastors no longer labor in these areas. Many modern pastors labor in almost anything but the Bible, especially the theology that comes from the Bible.

“Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17).