Tag Archives: exhortation

Caring for Our Ministry Leaders

Two years ago this was a burning desire that I felt God birth within me. I pray the Lord uses this post to impart this God-birthed desire in each one of you as well!

Remember to lift your pastors, worship team/leaders and intercessors, as well as other leaders and ministry givers up in prayer often. Pray the Word of God over them and their families. Pray rest and refreshing. Pray for protection and His love.

Remember to help pour into them by firstly leaning on the Lord, using in your giftings, serving faithfully, guarding your heart, and seeking to be a joyful encouragement to them, trusting the Lord through even the times you need ministering to. God will reward you so much as you consider the leaders and others He has put in your life. As you regard them with great kindness and consideration and honor, you are sowing for your own reward to be loved this way.

As a member of a small congregation, I love to be able to help my pastors by leaning on God and not going to them for every single thing. I want to get ministry if I need it for sure, but I want to learn to lean on Jesus as my first and foremost above all. I love to be able to pour prayer into those precious leaders God has brought into my life, like Jonathan to David perhaps. This may occur in the Secret Place and/or in person for them and others who give of themselves to minister in prayer, prophesy and deliverance.

I want not to place any weight upon their shoulders, but actually to help bear their burdens as the Word says we are to bear one another’s burdens. One of my biggest desires is to help my leaders carry those tasks of ministry so that they can be freed up to do all that God desires to use them to do, and most especially to be able to put ministry to Him and their families first.

This is actually what the Bible calls helps ministry, and I think we all have a part in it in some way, even if only through prayer for some. Sometimes this means that I set my own needs aside and allow them to go home or be ministered to themselves (whether through myself or another). Other times it means cleaning the building or going to the store right before a service upon realizing a need for some important item for the service or building, or perhaps simply using my own God-given gift to sing God’s heart over them or praying for them.

You can see how each one of us has a part to play in helping to do the work of ministry so that the Body of Christ can function beautifully – even by pouring into those who so sacrificially pour into us! How has the Lord used this post to inspire you to care for your pastors and leaders? What are you already doing to help hold up their arms in the Body of Christ?

Call to Love

Tulip by songsinthenightWhat would it be like if all of Christ’s people sought to live out love and the Sermon on the Mount… if we sought His face about all else?

I got to thinking about this the other morning. Not that I’m perfectly living out love, (I’m learning and I fail in doing so just as much as anyone else who is truly seeking after God’s heart). But after seeing some fellow believers “jump ship” in certain areas, I really got to thinking about the response that Jesus would long for us to have. The below is an exhortation, a call to love like Jesus loves, and could also be used as a devotional. But remember this: We who belong to Christ are in this together.

We’re called to love one another. Whether we agree or disagree, no matter what the issue, we cannot stop loving one another. We are not to withhold love or respond in ways unlike Christ. We can’t just throw up our hands and say, “I’m done, I quit.” There is no quitting if we want to win the race. We press on to knowing Christ and growing in love.

We must speak the truth in love, leaving behind fleshly ways that want to shut the other out. We must keep pursuing love no matter how we feel and no matter what we think in our minds. No matter how hurt or wronged we feel, we’re not exempt from choosing love over self. (Ouch! That hurts! Change me, Lord!) We’re called to love, turning the other cheek by loving even when we disagree and think they’ve got something completely wrong.

And above all things, have a fervent love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

It is love that will win someone to the truth. Trying to make them get it by constantly bombarding them with words will only drive them away. Is our aim to love them first, or to convince them first? We must make sure our aim is to share God’s truth in love, that we are not just trying to convince someone of what is actually our own opinion. We needn’t convince people of our opinions, but it is God’s truth we are to share lovingly as His Spirit leads. Jesus’ way is faith working through love (Gal. 5:6), through humility and meekness. We share His truth & do not stand for sin, but we do so in His way and His timing–in the love of Christ.

What is love?

This is not love as the world defines it, but this kind of love is a choice, a self-sacrificial love, putting God and others above ourselves. It’s a love that takes you on a journey of learning how to walk it out more and more. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reveals this to us in a very helpful way:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (NASB)

We must not take offense, but guard our hearts above all else so that the springs of life coming forth from us are filled with selfless love (Prov. 4:23). We keep our eyes fixed on Christ who is our joy and our exceeding great reward (Heb. 12:2; Gen. 15:1), trusting Him to resolve any situation as He sees fit. We must simply keep trusting Him, praying His will, and loving Him and one another.

We seek to love like He loves, the One who forgave us, this One who does not shut us out of His life when we wrong Him (He never rejects us, nor does He leave us, see Heb. 13:5). When we were sinners, He welcomed us into His family upon our repentance when we gave our lives over to Him. How much more are we called to love and forgive as He has forgiven us! How much more are we called to be patient with those who wrong us, to pray for them and pour out His love on them as His vessel?

Love never fails. It bears all things, hopes all things. It endures to the end.

If we are to be the Body of Christ in full unity, we must love as He loves. A body can’t rip off one of its thumbs and still function properly; it can’t remove a leg and still be able to walk. When one part of the body is injured, the rest of the body helps to heal it so that the entire body can be whole again. We are in this together. (See Rom. 12:9-21.)

This is His commandment: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. (1 John 3:23)

We are called to love one another and live out Christlikeness in all areas of our lives, while standing firm, speaking His truth in love.

…let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth… (1 John 3:18)

Beloved, if God so loved us…we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)

God, show us Your heart, that we may love as You love. Teach us and anoint us with Your grace to love You and to love one another. I want to live out love in my life to Your glory! Root us in Your love that we love as You love. In Jesus’ name.