1 Thessalonians 5:12 KJV
And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
We have in this verse the three duties of the pastor, in other parts of the Bible described as
- Bishop and
Here described not by office but by work.
- He is a laborer
- He is a leader and
- He is an admonisher
His work is labor, real work
It is exhausting and draining both to the body and spirit.
His work is leadership
He provides direction and rule.
His work is also one of warning
He is to point out dangers in the current course of ones life.
I see in this passage three positions of the pastor relative to his congregation:
He is among them
He is not a lord over them. He is an equal to them. He mixes with them as an example and as a peer.
He is over them
Not in the sense that he has some special power they do not possess but he does have an office they do not possess. He is equal to them, but he has been charged with leadership for them.
He is to care for them
To admonish requires compassion and care. He loves his congregation. He would never choose to harm them but only to help them. If his warnings seem firm or blunt it is only in proportion to the danger he sees for them.