Chain of Command
by Ray Harmer
The first thing I wanted to know whenever I was transferred to a new company was who the gunnery sergeant was. Knowing this dictated my future. Was it to be grueling or status quo; albeit neither a cake walk. Some ruled with an iron-hand; while others were content with normality. Regardless of which type, I swore allegiance to anyone my senior. That is how the military works. There were some men I did not care for, but I obeyed them. They were leaders and had the experience I needed. If I wanted to excel, I had to listen and appreciate their knowledge.
Being involved in a church has definite similarities. It’s an organization in and of itself, with Jesus as Supreme Commander. And under His command, there are commanding officers who are given to us. These men are known as our pastors. Like some of those sergeants, it’s their way or the highway. Then there are those that do it God’s way and lead; encouraging others to follow. Someone once said it is easier to lead sheep then to drive them.
The true man of God is one of the closest portrayals of Christ that we will witness on this planet. With that said, we are supposed to do what God instructs toward our leader. God says, “…know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord,…” (1 Th. 5:12). First, we are to know that they are over us not as taskmasters, but as shepherds. God has placed them here for our benefit. We need to praise the Lord for them. We have to love them, and their families, with a deep appreciation. Many churches are without a pastor. It is obvious that God wants us to take care of them. Besides, it’s a win-win. If we obey and bless a pastor, we invite the smiling nod of our Father.
“And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves” (1 Th 5:13). This is not only the pastor but, all workers within the body of assembled believers. We are to be gracious toward them for their labor in God’s work. Respect and gratitude should be our mindset toward those who serve us.
It’s always God first, then pastor and leaders, guiding us to accomplish Christ’s plan in the Bible. We, as members, are no less involved if we follow our leaders faithfully with love toward the brethren. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Co. 1:10). If we, as Anthony Baptist Church, lift our pastor and leaders up in prayer, we will continue to be blessed among churches; as well as, individually!