“My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household
have informed me that there are quarrels among you.”
1 Corinthians 1:11 (NIV)
“What I mean is this: One of you says, ‘I follow Paul’; another, ‘I follow Apollos’; another, ‘I follow Cephas ‘; still another, ‘I follow Christ.’” 1 Corinthians 1:11-12 (NIV)
There is no doubt that all Christians have found over the years that certain preachers are easier to understand, they apply the truths of Scripture better, their stories are more helpful and so on.
In the church at Corinth there were divisions among the congregation concerning which preacher was the best. Paul was writing to urge upon them unity—and not to be divided about who they thought was the best preacher and why.
All of the preachers mentioned in our verses dearly loved the Lord Jesus and preached Him according to their specific gifts. Paul did not wish Christians to have “favourites” among the men who preached Christ to them.
James, the brother of our Lord, was a man who stood out as a wise and respected leader among the elders in Jerusalem (Acts 15). Timothy was a faithful man of God, Thomas was a man with honest doubts. Philip was a leading evangelist in the early church. Paul and John were brilliant theologians. Barnabas was the young preacher’s friend. Peter was a blustering fisherman who lacked the calm demeanour of an Aquila.
On the list goes of outstanding men of God recorded in the New Testament. They were all different but what they had in common was a great love for the Saviour and a burning desire to bless the people of God. Many faults can be forgiven in a preacher as long as he has a passion to exalt the Saviour.
Your pastor may be an evangelist like Philip instead of being a great teacher of biblical truths like Paul, Luke or John. Love your pastor for who he is and accept him. God gifted him in certain ways and you ought to follow the admonition in Hebrews 13:17 (NIV)
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority,
because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.
Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden,
for that would be of no benefit to you.”
In your relationship with the leaders in your church, be a member of the body that gives them joy and not grief. Do not quarrel with the leadership in your church—instead love them for their desire to serve God’s people and the example they give of Christian living. Speak an encouraging word this Sunday to the elders and tell them you are praying for them in the great work God has called them to do. God will bless you for doing it.