There are all types of Christian leaders. We have pastors, elders, Sunday school and Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) teachers, kids’ ministry leaders, women’s and men’s study leaders, youth leaders, worship leaders, and last, but certainly not least, missionaries.
What do all of these have in common? They are our spiritual leaders. They study for their messages and lessons. They minister to their “flock” (kids and adults). They get called out at all hours, day and night, and they have their own personal lives and struggles.
They care and minister to the people–to us. But, who takes care of them? When they have marriage conflict, financial struggles, personal struggles, loneliness, sickness, and death in the family, who do they turn to? Yes, they turn to God. But, did you know that God can use you to minister to them?
Maybe you’re saying, “How do I minister to these leaders? What can I do? I don’t know the Bible nearly as well as they do.” My friend, there are so many ways to minister. (Let’s not forget their families, too. Being the spouse and children of someone in ministry means you are in ministry also.)
Let’s look at a few practical ways to minister:
1. Pray for them. Pray for them. Pray for them. Pray for wisdom in their ministry. Pray that they would remain faithful to God and His word. Pray that they would make, and hold dear, their family time. Pray that they would be men and women of integrity. Pray that they would remain healthy. Pray that they would rest on God for all their needs. Pray for their families that God would protect them, use them, and encourage them. Pray that they would take time to allow God to minister to them also.
2. Realize that this is full-time (most pastors and full-time missionaries). They don’t just get up on Sunday, preach, and that’s it. There is much time and effort that goes into their ministry.
3. Give them space for family time. Most leaders have a scheduled day off; let them have this. Unless it is an emergency, try not to bother them on their day off.
4. Bless them with a meal. Contact them as to what they can and cannot eat (allergies), and either bring them a meal or have them over. They are in need of fellowship also.
5. Send a note of encouragement. There are times that they are discouraged and just need a little “pick me up.” It’s so encouraging to know someone cares.
6. Thank them for what they are doing. The task is not simple. There are attacks on every side, and sometimes the feelings of giving up become strong. God tells us in His word, “Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we will reap if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9 KJV) Sometimes though, the way is tiring. Sometimes, while they don’t look or ask for it, our Christian leaders need to be thanked. Yes, they are doing it all for the Lord, but they need to know they are making a difference.
7. Remember, not all those in ministry have families. There are many who are single. Make sure to care for them also. Sometimes, they need family time. Maybe include them with your family from time to time.
These are just a few ways to help take care of our Christian leaders. Let me challenge you to look for ways to encourage and take care of those in leadership. Don’t forget those on the mission field. These same principles apply to them also. You may not be able to have them over for a meal, but you can send them a care package. With the world we live in, we can minister to missionaries through emails. How wonderful to see you have an email and read words of encouragement.
Be creative and have fun ministering to those around you but especially to those who have been chosen by God as ministers of God and His word.
Let us hear (in the comments below) your ideas for how to take care of those who take care of you spiritually.
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