None of us like to be or want to be watched. Our privacy is something that we lose more every day living in a technological age. Any time someone notices something about us, that we prefer to not be noticed, it feels like an invasion of privacy. The question is, does anyone have the right to watch us, or watch over us, especially as adults? When it comes to your spiritual life, God has given this task to people in your life. The people given this mission are your pastor and your elders.
In Hebrews 13:17a the author of Hebrews calls the leaders of the church to this assignment. The author says, “obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who have to give an account.” If your leaders are reaching out to you, understand it is their God-given mission. It is deep, heavy, and worth the time and effort, regardless of whether it’s inconvenience or uncomfortable.. They are not just making sure you are part of a club, they are watching over your eternal souls. They are watchdog pastors.
What are some things that they may be watching over? First, they may be watching over your church attendance. Church attendance does not a good Christian make, but the lack thereof often shows that something else is going on in life that is not good.
Second, they may be watching over actions. If there are major behaviors which do not align with the Christian ethic, they may say something. The intent is to help you walk in Christ.
Lastly, they may be overseeing attitudes. There are many times when people show up to church, serve, behave like Christ would call them to, but their attitudes simply stink. There are many times when people are “doing” all the right things, but they are not “being” the right things. They lack some fruit of the Holy Spirit and are bitter, angry, apathetic, or divisive. These attitudes must be addressed as well.
Too many times people in the church do not receive these lessons as part of the ministry. Often it has nothing to do with the messenger, if that messenger is giving the message in grace. The issue often is that they are being called out at all. This is where humility is needed by the one receiving the admonition.
What are the benefits of your pastor or another leader or believer being a watchdog in your spiritual life? First, you may be restored. If there is sin, you can confess, repent, and be brought back to your original state. Galatians 6:1-2 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Second, your soul may be saved. Maybe you are a part of the congregation, but have not received the grace of Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross yet. This may be an opportunity for you to receive that grace if you haven’t yet.
Lastly, if you are watched over, and brought back, whether physically or spiritually, you may avoid the consequences of sin. You also will not miss out on the blessing of the church and its ministry.
If you are being watched over right now by someone spiritually do you appreciate it? Are you allowing the leaders of your church to watch over you? Acts 20:28 also calls pastors to “keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” What could be the consequences if you were not being watched over? What blessings are you gaining because someone has cared about your soul. Appreciate watchdog pastors.
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.