Remember your leaders, who spoke God’s word to you. Look carefully at how their lives came to fruition, and imitate their faith.
Obey your leaders; submit to them. They are keeping watch over your lives, you see, as people who will have to give account. Make sure they can do this with joy, not with a groan as a burden. That would be of no value to you.
Our church leaders have quite a task. Our pastors’ responsibilities are many. The burdens can be heavy. They are servants who are appreciated and thanked for but a small percentage of what they do for us.
How do you encourage them? What are you doing weekly to relieve some of their burden? How are you sacrificing in order to assist them in their sacrifice? Do you help or hinder their work? When was the last time you gave your pastor a hand-qritten note of encouragement and appreciation?
Our job as Christians is not to sit back and be fed or entertained. It is to participate. There’s that saying, “Spectators become critics, participants become supporters.” I don’t think Jesus’ church model was for the pastor(s) to do all the work. I think it is for them to fulfill their part by equipping us to do our part.
You know studies have shown that in church it’s no longer the 80/20 rule–20% of the people do 80% of the work–it’s now the 93/7 rule.
What if we could just raise that to even 90/10? It’d make a huge impact. What if every person in a given church was participating in some manner, even if “small.”
What are you doing within your group, whatever it may look like, to encourage and support the leader(s)? What is your part?
Don’t just go and sit.
Here are some more provocative questions for us concerning this passage of Hebrews:
- Who are those leaders in your church life that you should be holding up as examples worthy of imitation?
- Have you of late thought carefully about the fruit of a great leader’s life, using that scrutiny as a motivation in your own spiritual life?
- Do the expectations your church has of its pastor(s) facilitate a spiritual life that is worthy of imitation, or is the pastor so overwhelmed with responsibilities that there is little time to be with God in prayer and study?
- Are you respecting your leaders, having a teachable spirit?
- Do you value the community of faith?
- What in your life demonstrates clearly that value?
- Do you value your leaders’ seriousness about right doctrine?
- Do you encourage their further sharpening of themselves in what they do?
- Are you characterized by thankfulness to God, or are you a grumbler, constantly finding fault with people and processes in the church?
- Are you engaged in meeting the needs of others in the church on a weekly basis?
- Do you see your ministry as a sacrifice that pleases God?
- Does your relationship with your leaders facilitate the difficult work they do, or hinder it?
- Are you a source of emotional refreshment or fatigue?
- Does your pastor leave you with a song on the lips or a groan in the heart?
- What might be a way you can show encouragement to your church leaders this week?
We all need encouragement and appreciation, not least of which our church leaders. Lord knows they receive enough criticism and complaint. We can be such a source of encouragement and alleviation for them if we intend to do so, even a little bit, every week.