The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.1 Timothy 5:17(NASB)
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we are now children of God, members of the Christian Church, and part of the Body of Christ. Although we are living in the world and are called to be witnesses of the goodness and grace of God, we must never forget that we are not part of this fallen world system. We are no longer part of the old creation in Adam. By grace through faith, we are a part of the new creation in Christ and members of His mystical Body.
As part of the Body of Christ, we are to contend earnestly for the faith. We are to mature in the faith, grow in grace, walk in spirit and truth, and be obedient to our calling. As part of the Church, we have all been given individual gifts and graces which are to be exercised for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in Christ and for the glory of God.
While most of Paul's epistles instruct us on how to live our Christian lives, his letters to Timothy and Titus explain how we should behave when we meet together for public worship or join together in our local church fellowships. In First Timothy, we are given some important instructions on how to conduct ourselves in public worship and how to treat people in a church setting.
Paul also gave some clear guidance on the qualities and qualifications that are needed for pastors, elders, deacons, and others in leadership positions within the Church. In this verse we read: "The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching," and as believers, we are all called to treat our church elders with respect and take notice of their instructions and guidance.
In this verse, Paul is also pointing out that there are certain pastors and elders who work particularly hard at preaching and teaching for the benefit of the whole, and Paul points out that they are worthy of double honour. We are instructed to give them respect, recognition, and gratitude for their service. We are to support and encourage them in their work. We should make sure they are properly compensated for their efforts and we should show real appreciation for their wisdom, understanding, and insight.
Heavenly Father, thank You for those that serve as church pastors, elders, and deacons. Thank You for the dedication, devotion, and commitment from all those who exercise this God-honouring responsibility of caring for the Body of Christ. Protect them from the enemy of our soul who acts like a roaring lion, seeking to sully their witness and shipwreck their word. Uphold them with Your mighty hand and use them for Yourself in mighty ways. I pray that You would give each one the strength, guidance, and endurance they need, and that their service to You would edify the Body and glorify Your name. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.