Hebrews 13:17-21: (NIV)
Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon. May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
According to Hebrews 13:17, God requires us to be obedient to those ministers who have rule (authority) over us and be submissive to the authority he has given them. Barnes" Theological Notes from Biblesoft's electronic database makes this observation: "The reference of Hebrews 13:17 is for the members to subject themselves to to their religious teachers, and not to civil rulers. They were to show them proper respect, and to submit to their authority in the church, so far as it was administered in accordance with the precepts of the Saviour. The obligation to obedience does not, of course, extend to anything which is wrong in itself, or which would be a violation of conscience. The doctrine is, that subordination is necessary to the welfare of the church, and that there ought to be a disposition to yield all proper obedience to those who are set over us in the Lord."
God has given these leaders (Pastor, lay ministers) a “caretaker” status over our very souls, and from a spiritual perspective, this submissive directive came from God because God has given the minister has the charge of preaching and teaching the word of God. Along with this, the minister has the responsibility of counseling the flock, burying the deceased of a family member of the flock, rebuking and reproving a member, as well as encouraging the same member. The less trouble a member of the flock gives the minister, the more effective that minister can be in the administration of all the sacred duties that God has placed upon them. Your submission to God and to the church's ministry allows the minister to carry out their job with joy and enthusiasm to the glory of God. Every parishioner must understand that the job of the minister transcends beyond just that member and even that lcal church. The minister/ pastor wears more than one ministry hat.
In the modern church, especially in these critical times, the minister has to be “multifaceted” in their God given ministry. The ministry work is not like it was in yester-year when for the most part the minister was just what we called the “circuit” preacher. Back then, the preacher basically preached from church to church (evangelized) and even when they held the “title” of pastor, they would “preach” in several one Sunday a month or twice a month churches. "The minister was titled a pastor, but in actuality the deacons or certain members in that church would handle the business since the church met on a part time basis".
Now, because the minister has more "physical responsibilities" in today’s church and society then they did in times past, the primary role is to preserve the “99” of the flock while at the same time, go after the one whose backslidden and the one who is still lost and does not know Jesus Christ in the free pardon of their sin. Parisioners must also understand that the pastor/preacher fights real hard spiritually to impress and appeal to them (the backslidden and others) the danger they have and will put themselves in by turning their backs on God.
The minister/pastor constantly fights off demonic spiritual attacks after attacks that come against the flock on a daily basis. Many of the demonic attacks launched at the pastor and the church primarily come through the many false teachings and many lies that are told against the truths contained in the Word of God by other so-called pastors/teachers as well as members with erroneous beliefs concerning the bible in general within the flock. The job and charge that every “called” minister has placed upon their lives by God is so awesome and important, that their lives are always on the line for God in “defending the faith”, and in intercession through prayer and true service of every member in the flock God has entrusted to them.
With this in mind, "there are at least 4 things a parishioner can do to show support not just by speaking things by their mouths, (word) but by physically exemplifying their pledge in deed".
A. The minister should be treated as a brother (sister) and a fellow laborer in Christ.
Even though their primary role within the infrastructure of the church of God is different than that of everybody else to the point that they even oversees others roles as well, we sometimes forget that the minister e is still a human being and has feelings just like we do. This means that they have the same basic struggles as anyone else in the flock. Just because they are ministers, this makes them no “humanly” different than anyone else. What it does mean is every minister has a lot more ministerial responsibility than anyone else in the church of God. Paul addressed this fact in verse 12.
B. As “truly dedicated preachers” of God, they can expect the “rumor mill” to run rampart against them.
Though sometimes it will seem hard, the minister still has to remain spiritually strong and love and embrace those as Jesus said will despitefully use, persecute and swear against them falsely for the cause of Christ. It should also goes without saying that both the parishioners and lay ministers have to recognize those ministers who are true to the faith and even those who are not. When trouble comes, the minister will need our support, even our prayers and physical presence to quell the satanic drama that will ensue.
C. The minister needs to be truly welcomed to the congregation.
They need to be warmly embraced by their flocks. In the loving actions of each believer in the congregation, we let the minister know that they are truly loved and we are constantly praying for their welfare and well being. Your minister/pastor needs to know through your actions that they are in our eyes a person that is sent to us by God to minister and we will in term respond the right way to their preaching and teaching the gospel and other biblical lessons, especially because they are charged with telling us the truth about God ourselves, this world, and the plan has for both us and the world..
D. Regardless to their preaching style, (some are more dramatic and expressive in their presentation of God’s word than others) we are not to be critical of their work of methods because God uses each minister according to the gifts and talents he has placed within them, inclusive of their ministering style.
Each and every one of us have been given gifts and a unique personality by God.. The methos or style we display comes out of our peresonality. Many ministers have the same office, the same gifts, but none have the same exact personality or style. The most important thing is the message God gave them to deliver to us.
In the course of the administering the Word of God and making full proof of their perspective ministries, there may be times when the minister becomes stricken and afflicted in both body and in spirit. This is due in part because many dedicated ministers constantlyl toil and burn the midnight oil to pray for, aid and intercede in behalf of their parishioners and others who are in dire straits. The other reason is many of these same ministers in the quest for doing diligent service will sometime neglect their health (both physical and spiritual) and become extremely "drained" and worn down in stamina.
The minister needs to feel that they haven’t been abandoned or looked down upon ina negative light due to the change in their health status. We must also remember that we too sometimes might find ourselves stricken and in the same condition ourselves. In those times of affliction, we would hope that we haven’t been “abandoned” nor “looked down upon” because of poor healthourselves.