My husband spent a number of years in church leadership. I’ve seen him serve and I know his heart and I believe God gifted him as a leader. But he has stepped out of that role for the time being. We unexpectedly found ourselves with some blessed down time a little over a year ago, and I’m not gonna lie, there are many things I have loved about it. But the very best thing has been Corey’s availability to the boys and me both physically and emotionally.
Over the past year I’ve had some time to reflect on the life of an elder from the lens of the wife who loves and supports him. Maybe you are in church leadership. Maybe you are married to a church leader. Or maybe you’ve given very little thought to those God has placed in authority within your church body. Regardless where you fit, I hope you read the following list of ways to support your church leaders and consider how you might love your leaders well.
7 Ways to Support Your Church Leaders
Respect their time.
It’s not an easy task to shepherd a body of believers, and those in leadership expect to make sacrifices with their time as a part of that role. But most of these leaders also have families at home who love and need them. Keep this in mind as you relate with them. Don’t push them so hard that their families suffer.
Please don’t micromanage your church leadership. There are definitely times to question a leadership decision, but micromanaging them not only devalues their abilities, but it also shows a level of distrust and leads to leadership burnout.
Know and accept that leaders will make decisions you don’t like.
Church leaders have a very tough job. They make a lot of decisions, usually after much prayer, thought, research and discussion. But even when they have prayerfully made a well-informed decision, they will at times arrive at a different conclusion than you think they should. You know that saying “You can’t please all the people all the time?” Accept the truth of it.
Speak words of encouragement.
From my experience as the wife of an elder, I know they receive far more criticism than words of encouragement. Be the person who looks for ways to uplift instead of tear down.
Pray for them.
I’ve spent numerous nights alone in bed in years past while my husband spent the wee hours of the morning aching and praying over tough situations and decisions that needed to be made. Church leadership is stressful, but God is powerful. Get on your knees and pray for your leaders.
Don’t treat the church like a business.
In the corporate world, the phrase, “It’s just business. It’s not personal” has value. But the church differs from corporate America. Church is meant to be a community, a family. By nature the relationships within a church body are personal, so make every effort to treat them that way.
Serve within the church.
Is there something you can take off a leader’s plate? Do it. Often the person who is the quickest to complain is the slowest to serve. Don’t be that person.
Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.Hebrews 13:17