Leaders in the church
17 Everyone should respect leaders of the believers who lead the church well. The church should also pay them properly for their work. That is certainly true for leaders who teach God's people and speak God's message to them. 18 The Bible says: ‘Do not tie shut the mouth of a bull while it walks on your wheat seeds.’ The Bible also says: ‘You must pay a worker what his work is worth.’
5:17Paul uses a word for a leader here that is different from the word in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. It is a word meaning an older person. He may mean the same kind of leader in both places. 5:18See Deuteronomy 25:4. Farmers used a bull to walk on the wheat that they had cut. They did that to remove the seeds for food. Moses' Law said that the farmer must let the bull eat some of the seeds for itself. Paul is saying that a good leader should receive something good for his work. See also Luke 10:7.
19 Somebody may tell you that a leader of the believers has done something wrong. But do not accept that as true, unless two or three people say the same thing. 20 If a leader is really guilty and continues to do wrong things, you must do this: Speak against him when everyone in the church is there. They will hear what you say, and they will be afraid to do wrong things themselves.
21 I say this to you very strongly: Obey what I am telling you to do. Remember that God himself and Christ Jesus, together with their special angels, all watch what you do. Do not quickly decide if a leader has done right or wrong. Be fair and judge everyone in the same way. 22 Do not hurry to put your hands on anyone to choose him as a leader of the church. Perhaps that man has done something wrong. Then people might think that you agree with his sins. You yourself must always be careful to do what is right and good. 23 (I know that you often become ill. So do not drink only water, but drink a little wine. This will help your stomach to keep well.)
24 Some people do wrong things that everyone can see clearly. When those people are judged, everyone already knows that they are guilty. So everybody already knows that it is right to punish those people. But for other people, nobody knows about their sins until later. 25 It is the same with the good things that people do. Many good things are clear for everyone to see. And even the good things that people do secretly will not remain a secret for ever.