I have several friends and family members who have been, or currently are, involved in full-time ministry and, if you aren't already aware of this, let me tell you that being involved in a ministry is HARD WORK! But, those who are involved in a ministry, whether full-time or part-time, are in it for a reason. They are in it because of their desire to serve the Lord, and because of their desire to help others - to help YOU. Whether they are Pastors, Deacons, Elders, Missionaries, Sunday School Teachers, or any others who lead in a Christian organization/ministry, these leaders consider it a joy to encourage you, strengthen you, and help you grow closer to the Lord. But, in order to do these things, they need us to encourage them as well. Believe it or not, these ministers and church leaders OFTEN get discouraged. The people they are serving expect to have their needs met, and if they aren't met to their satisfaction, the leaders are ridiculed. People forget that, yes, these leaders are servants of the Lord, but they are not Superheroes. They can't do it all, but are often expected to. When dealing with so many different types of personalities and situations, there is no way to completely satisfy everyone, or to be everywhere at once. So, there are times when our leaders may feel exhausted, they may feel misunderstood, they may feel alone, and they may feel like a failure.
Take a look at the verse above (1 Thess. 5:12-13). Then, also read 1 Timothy 5:17, which says, "The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching." (NAS)
Based on these two verses, if you have a minister or church leader who has done good things for you and has been working hard for the Lord, ACKNOWLEDGE his work. Hold him in high regard, and encourage him to continue serving. Our leaders NEED encouragement.
ENCOURAGEMENT CHALLENGE #7
This week, take some time to encourage your pastor or a leader of your church or ministry in some way. If you need ideas on how to do this, My-Pastor.com has an article that lists 52 different ways you can encourage your pastor. Click on this link to be taken to the list: HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR PASTOR (52 WAYS)