I was a teenager and experimenting with things I should have left alone. At the time, he was my Sunday School teacher. I don’t remember the lesson, but I do recall what he said when referring to some acts of vandalism I was involved in—acts he didn’t know I was a part of: “We need to pray for the person or persons who did this.” His words convicted me, and I eventually straightened up.
I watched this same humble gentleman serve as chairman of the deacons, sing in the choir, and lead on other untold committees. He offered public prayers and always had an encouraging word for others. He visited the sick at home and in the hospital and wasn’t paid for it. He lived a good long life and provided a superb example of leadership.
As the early missionaries traveled from region to region and town to town establishing churches, they installed elders in each one. They were to be men whose lives reflected obedience to God and an ongoing developing spiritual maturity. They were charged with the spiritual care of the congregation.
The saying, “It’s lonely at the top,” is often true for leaders—secular or spiritual. I’ve been there; I know. Friends can be few and far between because of your position. Employees or church members can reject you because of decisions you make that affect their lives. Backbiting among the followers can be rife. Resignations can be asked for by the powers that be.
My responsibility is to pray for my spiritual leaders and mentors. They need the type of direction and courage only God can give. They’ve been faithful to what God charged them with, and I need to be faithful in making petitions for them. Rather than tearing them down, I need to build them up. When they are the quality of spiritual leader they should be, I can hold them up as a role model for myself.
What can you do for those who are leading you?
Prayer: Father, thank You for those spiritual leaders You place in our paths. Prompt us to pray for them that they might find the spiritual strength and wisdom they need.
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