Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Your Leaders Need Encouragement

Please take time to read 2 Corinthians chapter 11.

In this chapter Paul was fed up with those in the Corinthian church that continued to try and convince people not to listen to him because he didn't speak well enough.  Paul got angry and really rather funny in this sarcasm rich passage.  This is a great section to read aloud and emphasize Paul's frustration as you read.

In this passage Paul also boasts about his suffering to show how much he cares for the spreading of the Gospel and the church at Corinth.  Look at this passage in particular:

"Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes minus one.  Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move.  I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.  I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked."  2 Corinthians 11:24-27

That seems like an incredible amount of pain and suffering for one person!  Then Paul added this line:

"Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.  Who is weak, and I do not feel weak?  Who is lead into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?" 2 Corinthians 11:28-29

See, Paul talked about all the physical torment he endured and then he seemed to say that the mental anguish of shepherding his flock was the worst of all.

Your pastor experiences this daily pressure.  As a son of a pastor and as a friend of pastors I can tell you that this pressure is very real and very heavy.  I've seen guys lose weight, lose sleep and worse anguishing over the trouble of someone under their care.  As a youth leader I have felt this anguish some.  I have felt sick to my stomach and I felt like a failure at times when a youth has chosen to do something that hurt themselves and others or stalled their spiritual growth.  I hate that feeling and I know that that is only a small taste of what your pastor and my pastor goes through on a daily basis.

Your pastor must give an account for your soul.  Do you realize that?  I'm sure he takes that very seriously.

The daily pressure your pastor and other leaders face is real and heavy.

Today let's do something to encourage them.  I'm going to do this and I ask you to do this with me as well.  Today, let's encourage our pastors and leaders.  Let's let them know that what they do matters to us.  Let's tell them something that we do enjoy about them rather than a detail that we'd like to see changed.  Rather than complaining about a song during worship that we can't stand, how 'bout we tell them a way that they inspired us recently.

So, whether it be by text, phone call, e-mail, Facebook message, letter, gift, or face-to-face conversation let's encourage our pastors and leaders because they need it today.

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