Pastor's Commentary: Clergy's authority given by God, not man

By Ed RamDecember 23, 2011 

As mentioned in the last column I wrote about Pastor's Appreciation Month, we have a unique position ordained by God in the local church body. The last point I left off on was concerning the authority the pastor has been given. We must understand that his authority has been given by God and not that of man.

Yes, I do understand that any authority that has been given regardless of what area of profession it may be can be misused or misunderstood. The point I want to make here is that when we all function in our gifted positions, then the whole body is edified and experiences the love, joy and unity and growth that God desires us to seek. Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." The word "rule" in this verse literally means to lead. In other words the pastor is to lead his congregation with joy and not grief.

Another word mentioned in that verse that many times people misunderstand is, to be submissive. The word submit means, to yield or to surrender to. That sheds a better light on this verse because now we understand that the Lord is talking about teamwork. In other words, we don't submit because we are forced to but rather we willfully yield or surrender ourselves to accomplish one common goal -- and that's the vision of the house.

And therefore we must also remember, regardless of what type of profession we may be involved in, there has to be a lead person. For the most part, many times we think they should never make a mistake. Regardless if your pastor is new to the ministry or a seasoned pastor, everyone makes mistakes and we should allow them the same grace we desire when we fall short. Remember, your pastor has been sent and ordained by God to help build up the body of Christ, so team up together with him and impact your city for the glory of God.

Take a few moments right now and ask yourself these questions: What can I do to be helpful to my pastor in assisting him in accomplishing God's plan for our ministry? Am I being helpful and working with my pastor or am I a burden and making it difficult for him in fulfilling the call of God. Maybe you haven't joined a church yet. Los Banos has many wonderful churches that I'm sure if you would take some time to locate one you'll be surprised how blessed we are here in our community.

As you seek out a home church, be sure your heart is receptive to all the good that the local church offers and be careful not to be judgmental. Remember, every church is made up of imperfect people.

I'd like to invite you to come and visit us here at Praise Fellowship International Church. We're located at 615 E St. in Los Banos. Our services are on Sunday at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m. If you would like more information along this topic, please feel free to email us at and we'd be happy to send it to you. Remember: The rest of your life is the best of your life.

Ed Ram is pastor of Praise Fellowship International Church in Los Banos.

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