A friend who claims to be saved… asked me if pastors are judged more harshly because of their position? I can find many verses about judgment but, so far, nothing about anyone being judged any differently that anyone else.
Anyone in a leadership position has a great deal of responsibility, and needs to take it seriously. James 3:1 says, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” That is why the Bible tells us not to place a novice in the position of being a pastor or a deacon. The bishop (overseer) or pastor (shepherd), 1 Timothy 3:1-7, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) NOT A NOVICE, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” The deacon, 1 Timothy 3:8-13, “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. AND LET THESE ALSO FIRST BE PROVED; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” With such grave responsibilities, the Bible warns not to place novices and unproved people into the positions of pastor and deacons.
There is not only the matter of the decisions that the pastor and deacons make, but also what they say. A pastor says a lot of words in front of people. That is a tremendous responsibility for which he must one day answer. Matthew 12:36, 37 says, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” In other words, the more that you speak, the greater the possibility of saying the wrong thing.
On the other hand, people are going to be judged by what they say about the pastor, and how they respond to his leadership. The pastor’s testimony about the members of his flock is going to come into play at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” There are many people that serve for years around local churches, but they do so with much complaining and criticism of the pastor. A lot of their service in the local church is going to go up in smoke at the Judgment Seat of Christ, because of the grief and trouble that they have caused their pastor(s). Remember, we are not judged according to just the amount of things that we do for God, but the sort (the quality) of what we do (right reasons, motives, attitudes, etc.). I Corinthians 3:11-15 says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work OF WHAT SORT it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”