What a blessing to see a “boatload” of visitors to the services today. And then to hear the singing and scripture reading was also a blessing. As I told our congregation, it readied me to preach ! How often do you think about ministering to your pastor, especially before he gets set to deliver the message? How can you? I can think of several practical things you as a member can do. You can pray for him and even let him know you have, you can avoid critical remarks that might discourage or tempt him to worry like “I need to TALK to you after the service !” That’s always a “highlight” for me, ha. You can also, as folks did today, put your heart into worship by singing out to God and participating with energy in enthusiasm in an appropriate way wherever you can in the parts of the service leading up to the sermon. You can bring out a visitor or thank him for his Sunday School lesson if he does that beforehand. Or show up to Sunday School if you don’t normally ! It’s always been encouraging to me to see many out there getting ready to take notes. There are many thoughtful, loving things you can do to minister to your pastor prior to this critical point in the service.
Many pastors pour their weekly lives into those messages for Sunday to minister to people they love and as layfolks it is a good thing to minister back. Paul would often write back to people he’d ministered to encouraging them again and telling them how they in turn had also done the same. It must have heartened him even as he saw what he thought in print as he was reminded again of God’s love from others towards him and especially in those difficult times in prison or in other trials to persevere for his Savior. What a difference one postive comment or action could make in the life of those who give full-time to this noble and many times trying profession. As we minister to each other it is one huge way we can “flesh out” the second greatest command of loving our neighbor as ourselves ! So next time you head off to church, don’t just think about what you may learn or how you need to be consoled or encouraged but how the Lord wants to use you to do the same !!