Esteem Your Leaders and You Will Have Peace!

I am continuing to enjoy teaching through Paul’s first letter to the church at Thessalonica with the people at FBC Liberty on Wednesday nights. Tonight we will be looking together at 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13:


But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

Paul’s main point in these verses: Appreciate and Esteem your pastors highly because of their work, and you will live in peace.

Verse 12: We request that you appreciate those who labor among you.

  • This implies that the people know their pastors and know what they do for them.
  • The work of a pastor/elder is summarized as the following: (one article three participles…meaning that one group of people do these three things)

a. Diligent Labor: this literally means working to the point of exhaustion.

b. Oversight of the Flock: literally standing over the flock and leading, guiding them along the path of righteousness.

c. Teaching / Instruction: Instructing in the truths of God’s Word.

  • Compare to Hebrews:

a. Hebrews 13:7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.

b. Hebrews 13:17 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.

c. NOTICE THE PLURALS!

Verse 13: Esteem Them (Pastors, Elders) Highly:

  • Verse 12: know your pastors…
  • 13: Think rightly and lovingly of your pastor(s) {ESTEEM THEM HIGHLY} so that you will have peace!
  • Pastors are special servants of the Chief Shepherd:

o 1 Peter 5:1-4 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

  • LIVE IN PEACE WITH ONE ANOTHER! (V. 13)

o This seems like an odd place for an exhortation on peace?

o He seems to be saying that when the elders (pastors) relate to the congregation in this way and the congregation submits to their leadership, peace is the result!

This needs to be on your mind when you call a new pastor…

1. Plurality of Leadership

2. Someone who exhibits these qualities: Able to teach the Word to the people…Able to oversee when people get out of the flock and lost in the woods…

3. Your response should be in appreciation and esteem! So, when you talk to you children about the pastor, you should make it a point to build them up…to other people in the congregation…build them up…when the opposite happens, the work of the church in hindered.

May function dictate status and not vice versa in the leadership of our churches!



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