the weblog of Alan Knox

On Being Honored Again

Posted by on Feb 25, 2008 in elders | 9 comments

As many of you know, I am a pastor/elder (we use the terms interchangeably), but I do not get paid a salary as a pastor/elder. Instead, I work a full-time job in order to support myself and my family, and so that we can help others who are in need. Some are concerned that the church is not honoring the elders because they are not paid a salary.

However, even though I do not get paid a salary, this does not mean that the church does not honor me as an elder. In the past, I’ve written about several of the ways that believers have chosen to honor me and my family (for example see “On being honored” [from Dec. 2006], “Thankful“). In the past, some have handed me money, while others have given us food or other items. Some friends have cooked dinner for us, either inviting us to share the meal in their home, or bringing dinner to us in our home. As I mentioned in the two posts above, some friends (still unknown to us) had a propane tank installed and filled with propane twice. There have been many ways that our brothers and sisters in Christ have honored us.

When I think back over the last few years of being recognized as an elder, I can see many ways that God has used people to honor us. It has also been interesting and exciting to see the variety of ways that people have honored us. In fact, the ways seem to be as numerous and different as the gifting, talents, abilities, and resources of the people that God has chosen to bring into our lives.

Recently, I was talking to one of my good friends. He told me that his family had been studying 1 Timothy, and his nine year old son is very concerned with caring for widows and with honoring elders. This young boy has no resources of his own, but he wants to honor me. The thought alone is honoring, but he went beyond thought and came up with a way that he could take care of his pastors. His father said that he wants to wash one of our vehicles. I almost cried when he told me, not because we need our vehicle washed, but because of the love and concern that went into this decision on the part of a nine year old boy.

Each time someone does something for me or my family – from handing me money, to bringing us dinner, to even washing our car – I’m reminded how much my Father loves me, and how wonderful his people are. I hope that my life will bring as much honor to God as he has brought to me through his people.

Of course, I’m not the only person recognized as a pastor/elder for the church, which means that I’m also responsible for honoring others for their teaching and leading. We’ve also honored the other elders (we have had as many as four, we currently have two) in many different ways as well. It is always exciting to think of ways to show how much we love and appreciate those whom God has given us to teach us and lead us. This means that I have to know them as well so that I can know how to honor them.

Honoring pastors/elders is often a “hot button” topic in churches. Of course, many times it is not even considered because the pastors/elders are paid a salary. Might I encourage you, even if your pastors/elders are paid a salary, consider how you might honor them for their teaching and leadership. You might find that God chooses to bless both you and your elder because of this. Of course, desiring a blessing is not the reason to honor elders. But then, unfortunately, obedience to God and demonstrating love to others is not always as good of a motivator as perhaps it should be.


9 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 2-25-2008

    Alan,

    A little off topic but related. How do you find time to pastor, work full time, work on your PhD, and blog meaningful posts regularly? I have often said that there is no such thing as a part-time pastor so where did you find the extra hours in the day?

  2. 2-25-2008

    Bert,

    I’ve been asked that alot. I think I’ll answer your question in a blog post. I’ll probably post in in a few days (and, you’ll understand why it will take me a few days when you read the post).

    -Alan

  3. 2-26-2008

    I am glad that you have the time to write in your blog. I check in here everyday to read what you have posted. It really helps me a lot.
    Thanks!

  4. 2-26-2008

    Alan

    I was a bi-voctional pastor and worked a full time job. I’m not sure I’d agree that pastors shouldn’t be paid, but I certainly think the mentality that some pastors have that the church owes them a full-time job is a little silly. Many of them seem to have forgotten what an awsome privilage they have to have to opportunity to study full time.

    The problem, though, isn’t just the attitudes of some pastors. There are churches that seem to have the idea that you’re not a “big league” church unless you’ve got a pastor that you call “full time”.

  5. 2-26-2008

    Jamey,

    Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad that you find my blog helpful.

    Joe,

    I agree that the attitudes that you mentioned are troublesome. While you were a bi-vocational pastor, how did people honor you?

    -Alan

  6. 2-26-2008

    Alan

    I was paid weekly. By worldly standards, it was pretty small but I considered it a tremendous blessing. Also, we were invited over for lunch or supper more than once. Every Christmas at the Christmas service, they would always give us gifts as individuals and as a church. Honestly, if it were not for the distance, I would have gladly stayed there as pastor. Especially since my current job pays well enough that I could have told them to put the money to other uses. I suppose I could have refused the money, but honeestly I was in school and taking jobs as I could find them that would work around school and church. I actually was helped greatly by their being willing to do that.

    Honestly, I could go on for hours about that little church.

  7. 2-27-2008

    Joe,

    It sounds like God had surrounded you with a great group of people. Thanks for telling us about them.

    -Alan

  8. 2-27-2008

    Alan,

    You are encouraging as always. Thank you for being a distant mentor to me as I read your work. I pray for you, your family, your physical health and the church quite often. Love you brother.

    Trey

  9. 2-27-2008

    Trey,

    Thank you for the encouraging words and for the prayer. We always need prayer.

    -Alan

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