1 Thessalonians 5:12
Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.
If you missed yesterday's post , I'm going to post a 16 day little series on "What is an Encourager?". I found this passage bookmarked in my Bible. I had forgotten all about it, but since this blog is called 'ENCOURAGE 365", I thought maybe we should know what all that meant.
Yesterday's post was Checklist Item #1: Building Each Other Up.
Today we are talking about another way to encourage others. This time, it is encouraging our spiritual leaders.
I don't really consider myself a spiritual leader. I do teach Sunday School and some would consider that some sort of 'spiritual leader' role. In my class, I get discouraged if the class doesn't answer questions (a rare occassion here lately-- thank the Lord-- truly!), or if we don't have a big number stay, or if I feel *I* am not doing the best job with the lesson.
There are times when people come up and say the enjoyed the lesson or they got a lot out of it, and it means a whole lot to me. NOT because *I* want any praise for the lesson (Goodness knows I could NOT do it without God's guidance), but because *I* want to know that I'm doing well... and that others are getting things out of it.
The first person that came to mind when I read 'spirital leader' is the preacher. Preachers pretty much have a thankless job if you think about it. You hear all the congragations problems-- issues-- bickering-- preach a sermon and hope it hits home-- -and SOMETIMES you have to do the UNENVIABLE task of preaching what the Lord gives you-- when you KNOW the congration might not be too thrilled about it. That takes guts.
I don't believe this verse is talking about the kind of 'honor' where you give metals, plaques, or dinners. I believe this 'honor' is to respect them. To know that they have your best interests at heart-- but are human just like you.
So, what are some ways we can encourage our Leaders in the Lord's Work?
* We can look for ways to cooperate. Nothing can bring someone down quicker than if they can't get people to cooperate with them. It can make them feel like they aren't doing a good job because they can't get people motivated in which case it makes them question if they should even be doing it in the first place.
We don't want that! We never want to discourage anyone-- especially when it comes to serving God. Even if you don't totally agree with whatever the leader wants of you (as long as it's legal lol), see that God had laid it on their heart and in the end, it will be OK.
Look for ways to help.
* Pray for them. I truly believe that prayer is one of the most powerful things you can do for a person. And the kicker is, you can do it really without them knowing it is going on-- but you can see the fruits of your prayers in their lives. I really like helping others when they don't know it's you.
*Simply say "Thank You". How can people know they are doing a good job, if we don't tell them. I know people who don't like being told they did good when they are doing something for God because they want God to have the glory-- and I get that. But I believe that sometimes people can get discouraged if they don't get feedback every once in a while. Tell them how much they mean to you and how their ministry has affected your life.
We know that everyone needs encouraging at one time or another. We have learned so far that to encourage we need to: BUILD PEOPLE UP, and RESPECT OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS. Tomorrow, we will hit the next verse 5:13.
God Bless You,
(Make time to encourage someone today. It could mean the difference between a good day and a bad day for them.)