The following is the fourth part in Scott’s series on loving shepherds. Part 1: Everybody Love a Shepherd Challenge, part 2: How to Love Your Shepherds, part 3: Everybody Love a Shepherd Testimonials.
“During a gathering of brothers in the local assembly, one brother looked me in the eye and with a genuine smile asked “what are your needs?” The genuineness demanded a genuine answer. Having told him that we really could use a car for our 18-year daughter to use in commuting to college, he actively used his gift of service and his significant knowledge of vehicles to help us find a solid car for her to purchase within her small amount of financial resources. What a blessing! This genuine love in word and in action was both a great practical help to us and a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to see the body of Christ really be at work. To see those I love blessed is a great encouragement!”
“I find it to be a tremendous encouragement when the saints respond to the WORD OF GOD and respond to the CALL OF GOD.
Respond to the WORD OF GOD – (3 John 1:4) “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” – When the saints of God translate the word into action there is cause for great joy!
Respond to the CALL OF GOD – (Col. 4:17) “And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” – When the saints of God receive an exercise from the Lord for some particular ministry and follow it through there is cause for great joy!”
“As I look back over the years, probably the thing I have appreciated the most are brief notes of encouragement, especially when the individual is specifically thankful for some part of my work. I keep these notes in a folder (actually two now) to reread later as a reminder of God’s goodness when dark clouds loom overhead. When such notes come (especially from a young person) and include a financial gift, then I know that God is really doing a work in the sender’s heart. I really rejoice in that part, and that he or she valued my service for the Lord worthy enough to want to co-laborer with me in it.”
“I always appreciate knowing that there are those in the assembly who have made it a point pray for us often, and to let us know. Not only do they pray, but their conduct as part of the body of believers is equally supportive, and this means a lot. A specific occasion was this past Christmas – some anonymous people (although we have our suspicions, lol) arranged to have “care baskets” left on all our front doorsteps one night. All the Elders discovered (the same night) a lovely collection of sweets and other nice things. Given that the four of us all live in different directions relative to the chapel, even the simple task of dropping them all off was significant to us.”
“After breaking five bones in four years and being discouraged about my failing body. We had our sewer back up into our basement and I was in a full leg cast and couldn’t go outside and dig up the septic tank and fix it. I still don’t know how, but a particularly quiet brother came and I woke up in the morning to the sound of shovel. And all I could really do is go stand there on crutches and watch him as he served me and fixed my house for me. When it’s in your DNA to help and serve others to watch someone else serve you and to feel loved is a wonderful thing. Also, anytime people pray for us whether one-on-one or in the assembly as a whole it’s always a joy it’s always encouraging to feel the body support you in prayer.”
This really has been great fun! Thank you to everyone who sent in ideas! Lord help us on to be channels through which He can love and encourage His servant-leaders! – Scott