“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you…“
and admonish you
The third type of leader we should respect is the one who has the ability to address problems in the local church. “Admonish” means to put in mind, warn, instruct. The idea is to provide instruction to correct behavior and belief. This is to put good sense into the head of a person who lacks sense. The responsibility of the pastor is to put certain ideas into the minds of his people. He points out the foolishness of our generation. He directs the congregation to God’s viewpoint about life.
A wise leader does not issue edicts from the pulpit or in small meetings. There is a difference between leadership by position and leadership by influence. There is a difference between dictating and indicating. Leaders are not “lords” (1 Peter 5:3), but their authority is “in the Lord.”
Congregations have the responsibility to accept their pastors’ authority so that they will be open to accepting the admonishment they need.
The Bible clearly spells out the responsibilities of both pastor and people. A congregation has the responsibility to obey their pastor. The pastor has the responsibility to “admonish” the congregation. What does this say about people who never commit to a local church?
In combat, if you do not know who your leaders are, you are in deep trouble. If you are in a local church without leadership, you will not win spiritual battles.
No one likes other human beings to admonish him. No leader of a local church has the right to admonish someone else based on his or her own authority. True admonishment must come from the Word of God if it is going to carry authority.
There is no authority in “It is my opinion that….” Our authority comes from, “Thus says the Lord, chapter, book, and verse.” Admonishment is a thankless task. Most leaders do not enjoy this aspect of their responsibilities, but they must be faithful to their Lord, or the congregation will suffer.
“Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn [admonish] everyone night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).
“Him we preach, warning [admonishing] every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).