The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18 (NIV)
Gifted and godly leaders are a sign of God’s blessing on a church. Leaders who don’t know what they are doing are a sign of God’s judgment:
“I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them… A man will seize one of his brothers…and say, ‘You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!’” (Isa. 3:4, 6)
A local church depends in large measure on the character and competence of its leaders. And so, Paul writes in verses 17 and 18 about elders and those who preach.
“The elders who direct the affairs of the church”
It is the special calling of pastors and elders to give direction to the church. Notice that direction does not come from one individual (that would be coercion). Nor does it come from everybody in the congregation (that would be confusion). Direction for the church comes from those who have been tested and then trusted to serve as leaders in the church (that brings cohesion).
“Especially those whose work is preaching and teaching”
A gospel church is always a church under the Word of God. So, the ministry of the Word and the direction of the church belong together. If we are really serious about living out what God calls us to do, then we want God to shape our lives and our church through His Word.
Those who serve well are “worthy of double honor”
This double honor includes the support that those who give themselves to full-time ministry receive from the church. A man who goes into pastoral ministry must expect to work hard, and the church that calls him should pay him for his work. This pattern is clear in the Bible.
Does your church adequately compensate your pastor?