As a professor at a seminary, I have the great privilege of training men for pastoral ministry. Every year new faces come in, full of excitement and trepidation as they start taking classes to prepare for pastoral ministry. What most of them don’t realize is how dangerous their calling truly is. According to some recent surveys, somewhere between 1,500–1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month. That means on average 50–57 pastors leave the ministry every single day. These studies go on to note several more disturbing statistics:
And although this last statistic is not found in these studies, I know that it is true from the Bible:
These statistics are sobering, and quite frankly frightening. So the question for us as brothers and sisters in Christ to help these men that God has called to lead us? How should we treat our elders?
I believe 1 Timothy 5:17-25 lays out four things we as God’s people must do:
Interested in learning more? You can hear more from the sermon I recently preached at Christ’s Covenant Church. You can find the audio here.
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Since 2006 Dr. Matthew S. Harmon has served as Professor of New Testament Studies at Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. He is also a member of Christ’s Covenant Church, where he serves on the Preaching Team, leads a small group, and teaches regularly in their Life Education classes.
Find out more at his blog, Biblical Theology, which is a forum for all matters pertaining to biblical theology (and some entirely unrelated).
Follow him on Twitter: @DocHarmon