October is Pastor Appreciation Month.
I don’t know who decides these things or the reasons behind it. And I run the risk of sounding prideful for even mentioning it, but allow me to defend the purpose for my blog post. So, read this post in its entirety before assuming I am patting myself on the back.
The Bible teaches that a church is to be led by a plurality of elders (Acts 11:30; 14:23; 15:2, 4; 21:18; I Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14). In short, when a church is able, there should be biblically qualified men (plural) who rule and shepherd the church (I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9).
While there can be and usually is a leader among those equals, the biblical model for church government is a plurality of elders.
Now, what this means in a tangible way, or what it should mean, is that no elder (or pastor) should be without another pastor. In a church with a plurality of elders, the elders are pastors and those pastors have pastors to shepherd them.
When someone asks, “Are you the pastor of WBC?” I respond, “I am one of them.” I do not believe biblically that shepherding a church should ever be left to one man, and I am thankful to have a team of shepherds (elders) that I co-labor with.
Now, back to Pastor Appreciation Month.
As I pastor, I am also a sheep in need of shepherding. I need pastoring. And I have 3 of them in my life. I want to show my appreciation to them in this blog post by sharing why I appreciate their friendship and leadership.
Warren, Mark and Grady are humble. One of the 1st things I noticed about these men when I started candidating at WBC in 2013 was their humility. They were quick to admit their shortcomings and failures in leadership. They were not ashamed to speak about their need to grow and mature in a variety of areas.
Warren, Mark and Grady love the Bible. They are governed by its instructions, direction and mission. When we jokingly say that “Bible” is our middle name at WBC, we mean it. It starts from the top down. These men are regularly evaluating the ministry of WBC by what the Bible says. They hold me accountable to preach accurately the Bible to our people.
Warren, Mark and Grady are friends. We meet once a week on Monday nights, see other on Sundays, and minister together in other venues. We go on retreats at least once a year. We attend conferences together. We have dinners and lunches and breakfasts with one another. These men are dear friends. They have earned the right – by their godliness and their wisdom – to speak into my life whenever they want to.
Warren, Mark and Grady are teachable. Perhaps this is just an example of humility, but I love that these men are always wanting book recommendations or to have doctrinal summits together (all day meetings where we study a doctrinal issue together). They are men who are not content to remain in one place in their understanding of Scripture or their relationship with God. They want more.
If I were writing Epistles today, like Paul, I would quickly mention each of these men at the end of my letters, like Paul did with his co-laborers and ministers of the Gospel (Romans 16:21; Ephesians 5:21; Philippians 4:7-13).
I could not serve as Teaching Pastor at WBC without them.
I love Warren, Mark and Grady. And for Pastor Appreciation Month, you need to know these men – who are my pastors – are worthy of our commendation.