“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1st Cor. 15:58, NLT).
October has been set aside as ‘Ministry Appreciation’ month. There are many ministry leaders who are starved of encouragement. They sometimes serve in hostile environments and without the right form of encouragement they can easily fall for the tricks of the enemy and become as hostile as the environment in which they serve. I want the leaders in my life to know how much I appreciate them for what they do for me and for others. They include leaders from my childhood through to my present church leaders who preach and teach the Word, each week.
I have had great leaders who served me and my generation, during my youth but I lost the opportunity to let them know that what they did mattered. People like my Sunday school teacher, the late Lovina Black and my first pastor, the late Rev. Dennis Millwood. Their service made a difference in my life but they never heard me say, "Thank you for your service!" There are others who are residing in other parts of the country or overseas and I may never get the opportunity to physically embrace them and verbalise my gratitude. Nevertheless, while I continue giving God thanks for them on a regular basis, I pray that they too will be encouraged through my gift of writing. What made them great teachers/leaders in my life was not so much what came out of their mouths but how their teaching were expressed in their lives and transferred to mine. They taught by example. Their leadership encouraged me and is reflected in my life today. They have been true examples of ‘Disciples of Christ’ and I aspired to be like them. Through my writing, I would like to encourage my leaders to continue growing in the knowledge of Christ. I pray that as I continue to share these written pieces, they will be encouraged to continue the wonderful work of serving others.
Growing up without my parents, the church (working alongside my grandparents) provided that foundational grounding I needed. In my adult years, looking back, it gave me the understanding of Psalm 27:10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” There are many others around us who need to receive the kind of nurturing I had, in order to experience God’s love and know that indeed He is real. It is not so much what is said from the pulpit or within ministry groups but how those teachings are lived out in the lives of our leaders that make them mediocre, good or great/inspiring leaders. I want all the leaders that I come in contact with to be all that God has called them to be and inspire others to lead in such a manner. Therefore, if you are living a less-than-fulfilled life in the area of ministry that God has called you, I pray that your desire now is to be an inspiring leader. You cannot do that in your own strength. You must totally submit your will to your heavenly Father’s and allow Him to mould you and shape you into His vessel of honour. The people you lead will appreciate you not just on special occasions but always. I pray that through my sharing, you may be encouraged to be or continue being effective leaders in the lives of those whom God has placed in your care.
If you are a leader in the church (or have been in the past) many are remembering you in their prayers as you do the same for those special leaders in your life, this month. My prayer is that He will strengthen you to move forward in your role and continue to teach you as you feed on His Word, in order to feed those you lead. For those of you supporting your pastor, in carrying out the vision God placed in them for the fellowship, you are helping to fulfil “The Great Commission”, according to Matthew 28:19-20 (read from 16 to place in context). Being part of the team of leaders in your fellowship, please understand that what you do is a reflection of God? It matters to others around you that you walk in line with God’s will and as a servant of Christ it should matter to you.
Thank you for all that you do towards the work of the Kingdom. Continue to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as you lead others to do likewise. I encourage you to read and meditate on the letters of the Apostle Paul to Titus (chapters 2 and 3) and continue to study God’s Word so that you may know what to do for each situation that presents itself and not be found wanting. Titus 2:7-8 says, “And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Let your teaching be so correct that it can’t be criticized. Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won’t have anything bad to say about us.”
©2013, J. S. Ramkissoon.
Continues in part 2 -- Reflecting Christ in Our Leadership
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