People who have roast preacher for Sunday dinner need a change of diet. And a pastor who verbally chews up his congregation needs to look again at his mission. A caring preacher will build up his church, and a caring church will build up its preacher.

In Hebrews 13:17, church leaders are called to watch over their flock as those who must give account before God. That’s a tall order, but it’s what God appoints them to do. And in the same verse, members of the congregation are reminded of their responsibility. They are told to let their leaders be leaders. They are to be submissive to them and open to their correction, so that their leaders will have joy rather than grief as they seek to be faithful in carrying out their God-appointed duties.

How tragic that many congregations have never learned this! Six days a week they may criticize their pastor and on the seventh listen negatively as he preaches his heart out. Then they go home and have their favorite Sunday dinner—not fried chicken, but roast preacher.

Whatever our place in the body of Christ, let’s build others up through mutual caring. Then instead of devouring one another, we will find joy in seeing pastors and their people being nourished and fed by one another.