Today’s Scripture: Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, the labourer is worthy of his reward. I¬†Timothy¬†5:17-18

Fresh out of Bible College, this was the moment Brian had been waiting for. As he began unloading his things in his new church office, he ran into the old pastor who was removing his last few belongings. The pastor greeted him graciously and shared that he had left three sealed envelopes in his desk. He explained, “The envelopes I left are just for when you run into problems. When you encounter the first issue, open the first envelope, and everything will make sense.”

As the year passed, Brian decided to change the way the kids lined up at VBS. Thinking it would help things run more efficiently, he didn’t realize that it could cause a problem. Soon, the women were in a tizzy, and Brian opened the first envelope. It read, “You changed the lineup at VBS. Just claim that it was a mistake because you’re new. Then, everything will be fine.”

Another year elapsed, and Brian decided the deacons should rotate for election rather than always being a fixed group. Sure enough, it was as if a nuclear blast had occurred. He opened envelope number two, “Deacon rotation? Nice try, but not going to happen. Switch it back.”

Finally, the third year rolled around, and Brian decided that the women’s kitchen committee did not need to be present for every single time the kitchen was in use. After that announcement was made, pandemonium broke loose. World War III had been set in motion. Flustered and confused, Brian sank into his office chair thinking about his third “strike” and opened the third envelop, which read: “Prepare three new sealed envelopes.”

Although a humorous example, this story sadly does have some reality to it. More often than not, the pastor is put in a box, and his well-meaning attempts at improvement are harshly judged. I want to encourage you today to think for a moment, ‘what can I do to support my pastor today…this month…this year?‘ The shepherd God has provided you needs help, encouragement, and members who are willing to support him. Don’t go to each church service as a ‘taker’. Go willing to give.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.