How Can Young Pastors Be Respected?

2227885657_25a043b6e5_b Young Pastors have a challenge.  In their youth and inexperience, they often have to "prove" themselves and often earn the respect of their congregations.  Every young Christian knows and loves 1 Timothy 4:11 "Let no one despise you for your youth but set the believers an example".  The question we should ask is "In what way do I set an example?"  Paul answers that for us, "in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity".  So our lifestyle is a key part of earning the respect of our congregations even though we may be young.  However, there is something very interesting about the context of where 1 Timothy 4:11 falls.  Read the passage again in context and see if you can spot it:

“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:11–16, ESV)

So 4:11 is set in a context of the ministry of the word.  Timothy is told to "command and teach", devote himself to the "public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching", immerse himself in his teaching gift, watch his teaching, and persist in his teaching.  So how does a young pastor earn the respect of his congregation, by setting an example through his teaching ministry.

For a pastor, the ministry of the Word is central to his calling.  He must build his life and his ministry around the Scriptures.  He must be dedicated in his studies and committed to excellence in his preaching.  As the young man of God proclaims the Gospel through the Scriptures in a Christ like manner, the respect of his congregation will be earned.  He will no longer be despised for his youth, but respected. He will be an godly example to his people.

Biblical Manhood From 1 Timothy 3:1-7

In our youth ministry, we are currently studying what the Bible says about Manhood and Womanhood.  Recently I preached on Biblical Manhood and this is an edited excerpt of that sermon.  The tone is aggressive and sometimes harsh, but aims to speak the blunt truth to teenage guys.   There is a crisis of manhood in the America.  We need better men.  In fact today we see less and less men rising to the responsibility of finding a job, marrying a wife, and being a father and more and more boys who simply wish to extend adolescence.  We live in a world where men are absent and all that remains are boys who can shave. They refuse to take responsibility for themselves and the people they care about.  They'd rather depend on mommy and daddy to pay the bills so that they can play video games rather than getting a job and supporting themselves. They would rather have casual sex with women rather than committing to one in marriage, and when things get tough they run away rather than being a man and fighting through it. As a result the divorce rate is at an all time high and more and more children are growing up in fatherless homes. We need less boys and more men.

In God's word we are going to look at the qualification for the church position of overseer. In the NT the language of overseer, elders, and pastor are synonymous. As an ordained pastor, this is my Biblical qualifications. If I do not measure up to this list then I am disqualified from pastoral ministry. Although these list of qualifications are for pastors, these are the qualities that all men should aspire to have. Pastors are to be an example to the flock of what Biblical Masculinity should look like. They are not always perfect, but these qualifications that Paul lays out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 describe the characteristics of a Godly man.  We are going to go through them one by one.

Above Reproach

This is a junk drawer term that describes that a man is to be of blameless character. In other words, Paul is asking is there anything in your life that a person could look toward and say against your character.  For example, are you a liar? Did you cheat on that test? Do you put people down with your words? Are you lazy and spend more time on Halo than in the Bible?

Husband of One Wife

Guys, you are to be a one woman man, and that woman your wife. In your relationships with women you are not supposed to be a flirt or have a reputation for fooling around with lots of woman. This characteristic of biblical manhood means that you have sex with one woman, and that woman is your wife after you've committed before God in marriage. A real man doesn't have sex with digitized woman on his computer screen in pornography, and he doesn't do anything sexual with a girlfriend. This is contrary to every thing our culture teaches us. You are encouraged by our culture to have sex without consequences and to push the line as far as possible. Boys trick girls into having sex with them without responsibility or commitment.  A real man, a Godly man protects woman from sexual immorality and waits to have sex with his wife until they are married.

Sober Minded and self controlled

This idea shows that a man is free from rash actions. A sober minded man doesn't let his anger or hormones get the best of them. He is in control of his thought life and is calm, cool, and collected. He doesn't get spontaneous rages, he doesn't act like a baby when he doesn't get his way. He is in control of his thoughts, his emotions and his actions.


Does anyone respect you? Amongst your friends, do any one respect you or do they just think you’re a joke? Are you the goofball always cracking everyone up but the one no body takes seriously? Real men understand that respect isn't something that's entitled, it is something that is earned through hard work and dedication. Are your respected?


A real man is welcoming and caring to people they don't know. When there is a new person at school are you the one joining them for lunch or the one gathering your friends together to tease them? When a new person walks into your church, do you distance yourself and get into your clique of friends, or do you reach out and welcome them?  A real man is hospitable and welcoming to strangers.

Able to Teach

This is one of the specific skills that are required only of Pastors. Not everyone will have this gifting and ability to stand up and teach people. However men, let me ask you this. Are you able to clearly explain what you believe to another individual? Can you tell your friends why Jesus came to die? Can you tell them what they must do to be saved.  A real man knows what he believes and can communicate it.

Not a drunkard

This is the first negative qualification. A Godly man must refrain from being filled with drunkenness or any other substance. A Godly man is not addicted to any substance which includes alcohol, illegal drugs, and even cigarettes. Substances don't control a Godly Man, the Holy Spirit does.

Not Violent but gentle

A Godly man is not violent. He doesn't handle conflict by raising his fist, but rather through the reasoning of his tongue. A godly man doesn't threat or intimidate in order to get what he wants. A Godly man is gentle and kind and handles conflict in love, not in aggression.

Not Quarrelsome

Real men don't go looking for fights. They are not always trying to stir up drama and encourage conflict.  He has a peaceable attitude and seeks to maintain unity rather than division.

Not a lover of Money

A real man doesn't love possessions he loves people.  A Godly man isn't concerned with what's in it for him or accumulating vast wealth. He loves Jesus far more than he loves money and as a result he is generous and loving.

A Family Man

He loves his wife, he parents his children, he provides for his family. He knows that He is the head of the household and that he is responsible for the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of his family.  A Godly man leads, provides for, and protects his family.

Maturity of Faith

Godly men are to be mature believers in Jesus. They are rooted deeply in the Bible. They know and love Jesus and they are planted firmly in Him for his foundation. A Godly man is a mature Christian man who walks in humility growing and maturing in Jesus Christ.

Many of you are living like your father Adam. In the Garden Adam failed miserably. He passively watched as he let Eve took that first bite. He failed to lead his wife. He failed to protect her from the temptation of the serpent. Many of you are following in Adam's footsteps as a cowardly and passive man.  Don't be like Adam, be like Jesus. Jesus is a man's man. He lived righteously and perfectly. He led sacrificially as laid down his life on the cross for us. There is a reason that Paul tells husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church. Real men are to be like Jesus.

Many of you guys God is calling out to you. Just like God calling for Adam in the Garden, God is calling out to you. Where are you? Where are the men? Will you rise to the challenge. Will you become a man or remain as a boy. Will you rise to the challenge or are you going to be a coward? God is calling you to stand up and courageously live out your life for the glory of God.