Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Many folks who read this blog may find themselves actively involved in churches all around America — and perhaps the world.

A text that so helpfully clarifies the role that Christians should have in the lives of others is 1 Thessalonians 5:14: "And we encourage you, brothers, to admonish the unruly, encourage the faint-hearted, bear with the weak; be patient with everyone."

Here is a very fitting reminder of some specific ways that YOU can encourage a particular group that is often prone to being "faint-hearted" — pained, distressed, crushed of spirit:

Here's another person or set of people that we need to be encouraging, and those are our pastors and our spiritual leaders--the elders, the deacons, the church staff members, and their wives. We have come into an era today where it is so hard to be in a position of spiritual leadership because the "in vogue" thing is to criticize. And all around us we're seeing the wreckage of churches and lives because, among other reasons, we're not encouraging one another. Your pastor needs for you to be an encourager--not his critic.

But when you see a need in their lives that should become an opportunity for intercession. Not to talk to others. I'm just astounded at the things that bring pressure to bear on pastors and churches today that you say, "You're tearing up the church for that?"

I've loved over the years being an encourager to the pastors and the church staff members that God has put into my life who have spiritual authority over my life, and I work hard at writing notes, at sending anniversary checks for "date nights" for those husbands and wives to get out together and have an evening, especially if they have children and maybe don't get out a lot. Look for ways to verbally speak to your pastor, to his wife, to them as a couple, to others in positions of spiritual leadership to honor them, to encourage them.

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