In today’s reading, again John speaks about good and evil men, and talks about something new. The last couple days we’ve seen John speak about love; whether that’s God’s love for us, our love for God, or our love for each other. Today John speaks about caring for those doing ministry work.
October is Clergy Appreciation Month, so if you haven’t taken some time to thank your clergy members for all they do, I would suggest you do that. They’d would certainly enjoy hearing that. However, there would be some people out there that would ask, “What does the pastor do aside from giving sermons on Sunday?” There is a ton of stuff they do! The have to make visits to the people in their congregations that in the hospital or bound to their homes. They have to handle the administration of the church (oversee committees, deal with the building, supervise staff, etc.). They have to maintain their personal relationship with God. The probably have to attend larger church meetings (especially if your church has a hierarchy in it). They have to help out with your church ministries. And on top of that, and many other things, they must put together a sermon (and possibly a worship service) every week! They life of the clergy seems rather exhausting to me, and I definitely appreciate all the work my pastor does.
But imagine if they had to do all the things they do, and still worry about where they will live? John calls the church to a place where we should support our clergy. “So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” (3 John 8 NLT). Paul makes several claims in his writings that it is the church’s duty to support the clergy (1 Corinthians 9, 1 Timothy 5). So we should make sure that our clergy members all well taken care of, so their focus can be on doing God’s work, not their livelihood.
But this also can be taken to other leaders within our churches. We do have other leaders that we should support, because they are doing God’s work. I’m not trying to say that they must be paid. What I’m trying to say is that we should be helping their ministries as well. As a worship leader, I am a leader in my church. Yes, I am paid a small amount for my work, but the support I am most interested in is people being a part of the music ministry I lead. That support helps me to be more effective to reaching different types of people.
In my church, when you become a member, we ask if you are willing to support the church and it’s ministries. Everyone involved needs that support in order to stay functioning. It doesn’t have to be money, it can be your presence and involvement. So get involved, and help these men and women that need partners and support in order to do God’s work.