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6 Things the Bible Says About Loving Your Pastor

Notice how your relationship with your pastor changes as these principles and commands work their way into your heart.

Responsibilities that will bless your whole church.

The Bible is clear that we have responsibilities toward our pastors. Work your way through these texts, meditating on one or two every day for a week. Notice how your relationship with your pastor changes as these principles and commands work their way into your heart. Invite another person or a small group to join you and watch how it changes your whole church!

1. Love and honor your pastor.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.

2. Free your pastor from things that would distract him from prayer and the Word.

Acts 6:1-4

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, โ€œIt is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.โ€

3. Follow your pastor and invest in his joy.

Hebrews 13:17

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

4. Empathize with the weight of ministry that your pastor carries.

2 Corinthians 11:28

And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

5. Donโ€™t judge or criticize your pastor.

Romans 14:4

Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Philippians 2:14

Do all things without grumbling or disputing.

6. How you pay your pastor says how you value the gospel.

Galatians 6:6-10

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

1 Corinthians 9:3-14

This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?

Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? For it is written in the Law of Moses, โ€œYou shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.โ€ Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17-22

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, โ€œYou shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,โ€ and, โ€œThe laborer deserves his wages.โ€ Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.

How do these biblical texts impact you?

How does your church use these texts to love your pastor?

All biblical quotations above are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESVยฎ. Copyright ยฉ 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Text Edition: 2016.

Author of ๐‘ป๐’‰๐’† ๐‘พ๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’š ๐‘ณ๐’†๐’‚๐’…๐’†๐’“โ€™๐’” ๐‘ฎ๐’–๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐‘ฉ๐’–๐’“๐’๐’๐’–๐’•: ๐‘จ ๐‘ฑ๐’๐’–๐’“๐’๐’†๐’š ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐‘ฌ๐’™๐’‰๐’‚๐’–๐’”๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’ ๐‘พ๐’‰๐’๐’๐’†๐’๐’†๐’”๐’” Zondervan Reflective, March 28, 2023 | West Michigan Regional Director for Pastor-in-Residence Ministries ( | Co-host of the Hope Renewed podcast | Clergy Coach | Certified PRO-D facilitator | Spiritual director | Graduate of the Soul Care Institute | Provides training in soul care and leadership | Consults for churches and leadership teams | Leads workshops and retreats | Served as an ordained pastor for 18 years | MDiv from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. | Learn more about Sean at

25 comments on “6 Things the Bible Says About Loving Your Pastor

  1. Thankyou for this itโ€™s really helping me.

  2. Terri Hagger

    Thankyou ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. jasmine n alston


  4. Michelle C

    I know I’m late but I just wanted to thank you for such a beautiful article. I plan to meditate on all the scriptures you have shared. I am now studying the word of God under a very hardworking pastor and want to understand my duty. This helps me so much in finding ways to show gratitude and support, love and empathy for the hours of work per day he puts in on our behalf. Again, thank you!

  5. Ssenoga Ronald

    Thanks Sean coz yesterday I have been talking with my pastor and these are the very thing that we were talking about and am Ugandan by nationality but after seen your post I repented to God coz we have been loading our pastor with many things thanks dear for that insight and I have been sharing with pastors wife and she also appreciated it

  6. Thanks you very much Sean the word of encouragement, we are benefiting and growing.

    • You’re welcome. I’m glad you are finding them helpful!

      • Thank you for the message… GOD BLES Brother๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

    • Roger McKinzie

      Sean I appreciate all you have shared, however I am not understanding # 6 as you have said on pay for the Pastor. I know that pay,( money should not be centered in relation to the value of THE GOSPEL.) I am a associate Pastor and I know how wicked my heart is in relation to money if I know what the amount is! I donโ€™t want to know the decision that the committee would make! I emphasize God calling THE PASTOR, I know when HE calls HE supplies the need of Pay! When speaking on employment in this way, I share employment and calling are totally different. I know when people Love JESUS CHRIST they give from a Love from the heart as the dear widow who gave the two mites. The amount did not matter because she gave with a heart of Love for her LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST! MAY THE LORD BLESS THEE AND KEEP THEE AND HIS FACE SHINE UPON THEE! THANK YOU DEAR BROTHER IN JESUS CHRIST, Brother Roger McKinzie

      • Roger, When I speak to churches, I tell them to be very generous in how they pay their pastors based on these texts (and the OT principle of caring for the priests and Levites). When I talk with pastors, I tell them to not focus on the amount they are paid but also to ensure that they are able to care for their families well. This post was directed at church members not pastors.

        The primary way that God supplies the needs of the pastor is through the gifts of the church. The people give in response to the gospel they have received, I believe that is the point of all three passages listed. Why would they give if they have not received the good news?

        With regard the the widow’s mite, she gave everything she had. The amount did matter as she was being abundantly generous and sacrificial. It wasn’t much relative to others, but it was a lot for her.

        Don’t let your church’s generosity (or lack there of) affect your heart. That is between them and God. However, don’t sacrifice your family on the altar of ministry. Your first calling is to care for your family.


  7. Rev. Felix

    Thank you very much for these brilliant ideas

  8. Sean, Reading scripture in context is key and sadly, you are taking scripture out of context! When you say that Yahuah (his name is not god) says we are to obey our leaders who keep watch over our soul he is not talking about pastors, preachers, rabbis or whatever your religion calls them. If you read in context, especially verse 7 it says WHO these people are and why we are to listen and submit to what they have said. They refers to people who have spoken to us about the word of Yahuah. It goes on to say consider the outcome of their way of life & imitate their faith. Because they care about our soul it brings them joy when we receive their message and sad when we choose not to listen to what they shared. And although many people do not understand Paul yet want to quote him constantly, lets look at what our Messiah, Yahushua (his name isnโ€™t Jesus), said. Surely his words are not able to be disputed! Right?!? Matthew 23:8-10, Yahushua clearly states not to call ourselves rabbi (also means teacher, master)โ€ฆnot to call anyone father (aka, not even the pope)โ€ฆand not to call anyone leaders. Why? Because according to the Messiah, only he is our teacher/master, only the Father, Yahuah is our Father, and only Yahushua is our leader. Pretty clear, so why are you saying that people must obey leaders? Not according to the Messiah. Now I will say, those who love Yah and keep his commands SHOULD esteem others, especially those in the body of believers but that is not the same as obey. Sadly, none of your scripture references are in context and as a result many will he misled by your article. My prayer is that people will begin to read what the word actually says and not what they want it to say. I would happily share more examples of error if you would like but I know this is already quite a lengthy response.

    • Clearly, we disagree about how to interpret this text. It’s interesting that you use a name for Jesus that never appears in the New Testament. Jesus is simply a transliteration of the Greek word that every New Testament author uses as his name. While it may be his Hebrew name, I know of no historical record that indicates this to be true. Even the way you spell it is odd. The Hebrew word would be transliterated Yashua (from which we get our English name Joshua). The spelling Yahushua is favored by the Hebrew Israelites, a cult that lies outside the Christian faith because they have manipulated and added to the scriptures.

      Throughout the New Testament, the Elders of the church (including pastors) were considered the leaders of the church. So, the very people that Jesus taught in Matthew 23 disagree with your interpretation. For example, John refers to himself as an Elder.

      I’m afraid your interpretation of these texts neither matches the early church’s interpretation nor the historical record. I fear you may be inserting modern, false teachings into the text to make it say something that the original authors never intended.

    • Thank you so much for the Spiritual awakening. Actually i have failing in my responsibility. My life has been Transformed. May God bless you abundantly

  9. I am on this page because I need Truth to silence the voice of evil constantly repeating in my mind and asking – ” Why am i releasing money into the ministry, when I could use it for other things ”.
    This voice is constant and disturbing.

    So thank you for laying out the scripture on this topic. It is imperative to support the work of the ministry.

    May God remember our Labor of Love..

    • Thank you Jennifer. We all have to keep looking to scripture to hear God’s voice and to silence our own evil desires. Your generosity toward ministry will be honored by God.

  10. Jered Campos

    submit to no one except the lord God himself! This is a perfect example of the slimy scumbag pastors that have been so prevalent in the 21st century

    • Jered, I’m not sure what you are referring to with the “slimy scumbag pastors” comment but God commands us to submit to one another (Ephesians 5) and to obey your leaders who keep watch over your soul (Hebrews 13). The one who refuses to submit to other Christians is not submitting to God. This does not mean that we are to submit to abusive, sinful, or unwise instruction. However, we all need people over us in the Lord to show us when we have sinned, erred, or misunderstood God’s word.

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