I’ve been participating in the life of a local church for over four decades. For most of these years, I’ve either been the pastor’s kid, the youth pastor’s wife, the children’s pastor, or the elder’s wife.
In all of these roles, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the beauty that happens when the members of the body of Christ work together to proclaim the Good News. At the same time, I’ve also had a front row seat to some less-than-beautiful moments that left some people hurt, confused, and wondering if they would ever want to be a part of a local church body again.
Despite some of the pain I’ve witnessed and experienced, I remain an absolute believer that God has chosen His Church — the body of believers around the globe — to be the hands and feet of Christ to a lost and lonely world.
One of my deepest passions is to help local churches become healthy growing bodies. Here are ten positive ways that church members can support their church leadership.
1. Pray for your church leaders — both the paid staff and the volunteer leaders.
Pray that their fervor — for God and His Word — will increase daily. Pray for wisdom in their leadership and decision-making. Pray for their marriages to be strengthened and renewed. Pray for their kids.
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Become an intercessor on behalf of your leaders. We don’t need to know all the details of every matter in order to pray. The Holy Spirit already knows how to pray. Follow the Spirit’s lead.
2. Give your leaders permission to be less than perfect.
No one is perfect. Leaders are real people. Church leaders have a human nature they wrestle with too.
And no one’s family is perfect either. Church leaders have strong-willed kids too.
A healthy leader leads from a posture of humility and doesn’t try to present a picture of perfection. And a healthy church will allow its leaders to be a little less than perfect too.
3. Understand the actual role of each leader and the function of the church.
Church members oftentimes place unreasonable expectations on their leaders. Yes, pastoral leaders are there to serve, to teach, to equip, and to protect the flock.
But they’re not there to solve all of our problems. They’re there to walk beside us through our valleys and celebrate with us on our mountaintops. But no one person can be everything to everyone — except, of course, Jesus.
The best way to understand the role of each leader and the function of the church is to do due diligence before signing on as a member.