Ministry is pointless without people. Yet there is no question that there are some people who bring joy beyond words to a minister’s life, while others are a grief to him when they needn’t be. So, if you were to be completely honest about it, are you a joy or a grief to your pastor?

“Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.” Philippians 4:1 NASU

Paul had a deep affection towards those who were his partners in the ministry, and who were faithfully working beside him to reach others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, these faithful people were Paul’s joy and his crown, he said. So, let’s think about what Paul is saying here. You can’t wear a crown around and have no one notice. It’s a guaranteed attention getter.

Clearly, Paul was making it obvious to everyone who came around him how much joy these faithful workers and partners were to his life and ministry. So, he must not have been too concerned with who knew how blessed he was with the faithful people in his life, and who they were who brought him nothing but joy from all their aid and support.

Furthermore, if those who caused him grief were put out with him for celebrating those who brought him joy, Paul didn’t seem to care. He was too busy showing off his crown!

Every pastor and minister have their own list of people in their life who bring them joy, as well as those who bring them grief. And did you know that Jesus actually requires them to keep such a list? Additionally, something else you may not realize, is that whichever one of these two categories you find your name listed in, will result in significant consequences for you. Take a look at the verse below and you will see what I mean.

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17 NASU

There are people your pastor will give an account to God for with joy.  And there are other people for whom he will give an account to God for with grief. When you pastor stands beside you at the Judgment Seat of Christ, if he gives account for you with joy, it will be profitable for you. However, if he gives an account for you with grief, it will be unprofitable for you.

So according to this verse, there are only two options when your pastor stands before Jesus and gives account for you. He will either tell the Lord that you were a joy to pastor or that you were a grief. And he must do this because you are either one or the other, and Jesus expects your pastor to state which of these describes you when he comes to give account.

Now notice that the pastor is going to give account for your soul. So, how exactly does he do that? Well, by examining your obedience and monitoring your submission are some of the ways the pastor watches the condition of the souls of the saints.

You see, when people don’t follow instructions or carry out an assignment, or when they have a bad attitude about something the pastor has asked them to do, it is a good indicator of the condition of their soul.

For example, t is vitally important to understand that faithfulness means more than just showing up. It means carrying out an assignment completely, and in the manner it was requested. And it means doing all of this with the attitude of a believer who is hot for God, and not one who is mad at the world for being asked to serve Jesus and work in His House.

In addition, truly faithful people are doers of the Word and not hearers only. And doers of the Word are easy to spot. They can’t be missed in fact, because the doer of the Word is blessed (see James 1:25), which causes them to stand out from among the crowd.

It is those who are faithful that bring the pastor such great joy.

One thing I can assure you, is that if every Christian understood this verse above and its eternal consequences, they would be bending over backwards to bring joy, and not grief to their pastors.

Now, here is a partial list of those who cause a pastor grief. So, if you find yourself on this list, repent and get straightened out immediately.

1. Quitters

  • A. Those who leave the church

They don’t usually realize that if they were called to be at a particular church,  and submitted to a particular pastor, the pastor at the church they abandoned will still give account for them as being AWOL (absent without leave), even though they may be busy working in some other church. There are absolutely no Bible verses that tell us we get to up and jump around from church to church whenever we so please, and abandon the pastor that God specifically raised up for us (see Jeremiah 3:15).

  • B. Those who stop working in the Ministry of Helps.
  • C. Those who stop supporting the church, and its projects and outreaches with their tithes and offerings.
  • D. Those who stop praying over the pastors and ministers.
  • E. Those who became lukewarm and became unfaithful or inconsistent in church attendance.

2. Time bandits

  • A. Those who drain all of the pastor’s time after a service, preventing others from speaking with him.
  • B. Those who always want to add to his sermons the information they mistakenly believe that he was unable to come up with by himself.
  • C. Those who always have their own agenda and seek to promote it by giving the pastor books, tapes, notes and emails endlessly, in an effort to get their way.

NOTE: Always remember that the pastor is your feeder, you are not his.

3. Strife Peddlers

4. Complainers

5. And such like

Some bring joy and some will cause grief. So decide today that you will be a believer who brings joy to your pastor, and never grief.