Earlier this year, I wrote a post on ways you can encourage your preacher. Along those same lines, I can’t say enough how important it is to encourage anyone who serves in your congregation, preachers included, but also those who participate in public worship or serve the congregation in other outlets.
It’s hard work to go up to that pulpit and speak, song-lead, pray, give announcements, or preside. It’s also hard work to teach a class. And this applies to anyone, young or old, male or female (roles in worship established in Scripture permitting). While it is hard work, it is rewarding, and you, dear reader, can help make it so.
So, how do you appreciate those who serve in your church, whether in public worship or in other ways?
By far, the quickest and easiest way to make one who serves in your congregation feel good is to encourage them. Speaking to those who serve your congregation in person is just one way; you can also send them a quick card or message on social media. But a simple “thank you” can go a very, very long way in encouraging someone who serves your church.
We are called to be encouragers in Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and we also see encouragers in the Bible, such as Barnabas, whose name literally means “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36). Not only that, but consider this: when you’re given a job or large task, whether in the church or otherwise, and someone encourages you, you’re more likely to do it again, right? The same principle can be applied here; I’m willing to bet that any of the men serving in worship, or any of the women teaching your child’s Bible class or the church nursery, or anyone who organizes events in your church for your or your child’s age group will be more willing to do so a second or third time, or even regularly.
Pray for them
Praying for those who serve in your church is also a big help. Just as you would pray for your preacher, you should pray for those who lead singing, lead prayers, preside over the Lord’s table, and teach classes. They are going forth as leaders in your congregation, and regardless of how large or small their realm of leadership is, they still need your prayers (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
Teachers are accountable for staying true in their teachings of the Word of God, and all are called to worship in spirit and in truth. Pray that those who serve in your church are able to do both of those things.
Offer to help in any way you can
Do you want to help those who serve your congregation directly? There’s no better way than to offer to serve. You can offer to participate in public worship or teach a class or teach class or nursery for younger ones. Roles for each gender as outlined in Scripture dictate what roles you can take on, of course (1 Corinthians 13:33-35). But the most important thing is that you are going out of your way to serve your congregation and to make sure that proper worship or teaching in spirit and truth is carried out.
Also, you can help chaperone a youth group event, or offer to substitute for a class teacher if they are unwell or go out of town, or offer to assist a teacher by co-teaching or being an aide. But there are ways to serve that are not so public, too. You can volunteer to stock your church’s pantry, put together communion trays, offer to provide childcare for those in your congregation during church events, and more.
If you don’t know what to do, pray about it and ask God to reveal to you the best place for you to serve, and also ask someone in your congregation where and how you can help. It will be of benefit to you and those you will serve.
All this being said, service in the church is worth encouraging, no matter who is doing it or what’s being done, and you can encourage those who serve your church, whether they are involved in public worship, teaching, or in other outlets. Also, there are different ways to show that appreciation, whether through encouragement, prayer, and in going out of your way to provide help.
If we do so, dear readers, those who serve our church will be edified, and, in turn, so will we.
By Savannah Cottrell