How should we bring joy to church leaders? It is a question we probably haven’t asked ourselves before. I know it’s not something I’ve asked. But it is a question Wayne Mack asks in chapter 4 of Life in the Father’s House.He gives the following ways that we can bring joy to church leaders:
- Believe in Christ
- Walk in obedience to Christ
- Cultivate and preserve unity in the body
- Pray for them
- Express personal love and loyalty to them
- Seek their counsel and direction
- Receive their reproof with gratefulness
- Believe the best about their character and decisions
- Work beside them in ministry
There are thorough explanations of each of these in the book, which I recommend. Personally, I found this challenging and have a number of areas I need to improve in which I’ll be working on. Mack also includes a section on how to grieve your leaders in which he says:
- We grieve our leaders when we are indifferent about salvation and fail to examine ourselves regularly to see whether we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5)
- We grieve them when we sin against Christ or fail to grow in Him as we should.
- We grieve them we we “bite and devour one another” (Gal 5:15) and sow discord among the brethren (Prov 6:19).
- We grieve them when we make no effort to affirm our love for them or even know them personally.
- We grieve them when we seek counsel merely among friends or outside the church – especially when we do so in the realm of the ungodly (Ps 1:1)
- We grieve them when we respond to their loving reproof with insults or callousness (Prov 9:7).
- We grieve them when we distrust their motives and judge them unfairly or too hastily (1 Cor 4:1-5).
- And finally we grieve them by being “pew potatoes” who think our only responsibility for involvement in the church is to warm a seat on Sunday morning.
Aren’t we all guilty of these? We need to see our leaders as God’s appointed leaders rather than merely the choice of man. David did this well, and exemplified this with Saul. May we follow his example.