A few days ago, we took all our Elders and wives out to dinner. We had a great time of fellowship together. These times together are very rare.
People often assume that church leadership is a “clique.” But the truth is – we rarely spend time together because we are busy with other people. So, when we get to be together, we really enjoy it a LOT. It’s wonderful to spend time with like-minded and like-hearted people.
Several years ago, I had a person in my office complaining about a couple of our leaders, questioning why some of them deserve a leadership position. I was incensed!
Let me tell you what these men and their wives do. They lay down their own lives to help others. They work full-time jobs and yet still take the time to lead home groups – EVERY WEEK! They don’t just lead their group – they actually CARE for the people in their group. One of them is also our head worship team leader and our Christmas production director, all while still holding his full-time job, running his home group and caring for his people. One of them pastors our 2nd church location and he also ministers in jails & prisons, AND he ministers to families of addicts. At least two of the couples reach out to mentor couples struggling with marital problems. They all actively look for ways to be of service. They are generous, giving of themselves. All of them are prayer warriors – and they’re praying for all of you!
They continually offer encouragement, exhortation and comfort. They grieve when they see people falling away. They hurt for hurting people. They get hurt by people who would rather hold on to an offense than offer forgiveness (Yes, they fall short and need forgiveness too). Sometimes they pour their lives out for people who turn around and stab them in the back. They hold one another accountable as well, watching out for each other. They don’t make excuses either for one other or to one another.
These people care more for others than they do for themselves. They are selfless. They are servants. They give without expecting anything in return. I HONOR THEM!
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
There is a reason why it’s called, “the work of the ministry.” Because it’s a lot of work! It involves so much more than performing weddings and public recognition for a position. It can be very rewarding, but it’s not all a lot of fun. I don’t know what we’d do without them.
I Thessalonians 5:13 says that we should “. . . Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work.” I hope everyone who reads this will go and speak to them and let them know they are appreciated.
Donny & Donna Lytle, Jim & Tammy Bean, Ron & Gloria Bittner, Scott & Paula Ricciardi, Gary & Laure Cornell, Kevan & Rhonda Wain – we love you all so very much. There are no words adequate enough to portray how much we appreciate you! It is an honor to serve with you.
Scott Ricciardi December 19, 2016
Thank you Karen- you are a blessing as well!
Rhonda Wain October 25, 2017
Hi Karen! Thank you for re-posting this article. It was not by accident! This article may have been written over a year ago, but just this morning I read 1 Thes. 5:14 (which you mentioned in your article). Wow! It just thrills me when God confirms His word. I also read 1 Cor. 16:15-18 which says that leaders spend their lives in service to God’s people. The Apostle Paul urges believers to submit to those who “serve with such devotion”. Paul says that these leaders provide for and encourage the Body of Christ, and encourages believer to “show appreciation to all who serve so well.” Reading your article brought tears to my eyes…good tears though. Happy tears! Thank YOU and Pastor Mike for serving and giving to the Lord, for giving to me. Know that I appreciate your service and am thankful for both of you and your devotion to God’s people. Keep loving and serving Jesus! With love and prayers for you both!