“Remember Those Who Are Taking the Lead”
1 Loyal and active supporters of Christianity highly prize the faithful work and zealous lead of the elders in the congregations. It is a pleasure to cooperate closely with them as they seek to advance Kingdom interests. We cannot help but reflect appreciatively on their exemplary service over the years and as a result, strive to imitate their faith, devotion, love and endurance. When we consider their earnest and industrious service, it should prompt an eagerness in us to obey and submit to those ‘governing us’ who may be ‘losing sleep over our souls.’ (2 Tim. 3:10, 11; Heb. 13:7, 17, Kingdom Interlinear Translation.) Ministerial servants, as they work closely under the supervision of the elders, may also serve as wholesome examples to others.
ELDERS AND MINISTERIAL SERVANTS AS EXAMPLES
2 What a challenge it can be for elders to balance their secular and family responsibilities with theocratic pursuits! The diligent application of Bible principles in their lives, aided by Jehovah’s spirit, has enabled them to care for themselves and their families while scheduling time to assist others. Regularly they work in the field ministry, arrange for and conduct weekly congregational meetings, serve as counselors and visit those related to them in the faith. As they use their initiative in handling this trust, they work for the protection and blessing of the congregation.—Isa. 32:1, 2.
3 As undershepherds, the elders seek to imitate the attitude and ways of our Exemplar, Jesus. Unlike the hypocritical religious leaders of his day, Jesus was a sterling example of zeal for true worship. He showed such zeal not just with talk but by demonstrating a willingness to set the pace in performance. Like Jesus, the elders extend themselves in sacred service and maintain a reasonable view of what is expected of others.—1 Pet. 5:2, 3; Matt. 11:28-30.
4 Ministerial servants should likewise be examples of zeal to the congregation. As they share in all features of the field ministry and discharge other responsibilities, they ‘acquire for themselves a fine standing’ in the congregation. (1 Tim. 3:13) As they reach out and become more zealous, they may, in time, be assigned to handle additional responsibilities. This may include handling service meeting parts, giving public talks or conducting a congregation book study. What a fine contribution they make to the growth and stability of the congregation as they learn to carry out their assignments with reliance on Jehovah and his holy spirit!
OUR SUBMISSION AND OBEDIENCE
5 How can we demonstrate our appreciation for the elders’ loving oversight? One way is by taking advantage of opportunities to cooperate with those taking the lead. Our being mindful of their weighty responsibilities should stir us to respect them and obediently submit to their direction. When we display proper regard for our hard-working elders, we contribute to our joy and theirs, while strengthening the spirit of our congregational family.—1 Thess. 5:12, 13.
6 Another way to demonstrate your appreciation is to take the initiative in asking to work along with these brothers, and the ministerial servants, in field service. The first Sunday of the month or the second and fourth Saturdays would be a fine time to do so. Your sharing with them weekly in the preaching and disciple-making work will be a source of encouragement to them and will result in refreshment for yourself.—Rom. 1:11, 12.
7 What a privilege we have to be active Christian associates, carrying out our God-assigned work! As we work hard to share in vindicating Jehovah’s name, we should use our talents, gifts and energies in a worthwhile way. Elders and ministerial servants should earnestly endeavor to care for their respective responsibilities in an exemplary manner. By imitating those who take the lead, the congregation will be united in reflecting their activity, love and concern.—Phil. 3:17.