The Message is not an actual translation. It is more a biblical paraphrase. But sometimes it captures the meaning of the text in a simple and concise manner. Hebrews 13:17 is one of those times: “Be responsive to your leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?” Several weeks ago in preparation for this weekend workshop three books were distributed and read by each of our elders and deacons. This weekend the elders and deacons of our church and their wives spent twelve hours (four hours Friday evening, four more Saturday morning and four Saturday afternoon) meeting with Jerry Barber, working to become better and more effective church leaders. These men and their wives are no less busy than anyone else. They receive no financial benefit from their work and service. Moreover, they often are the targets of complaints and grumbling. So why do they do it? Why do they put up with the heartache and stress? Why would they give up an entire weekend when they could have been doing what you did or what others were doing? They did it because they love the Lord and they love this church. They do it because the Lord has called them into the service of leading this church family. These men and their wives are good people, Christian servants. They are not perfect and they make mistakes. But their willingness to devote the entire weekend towards improving their leadership ability shows their commitment and desire to make Fairlane the best church it can be. They are doing their part, are we?
Welcome Jerry and Gail Barber. Jerry grew up in Centerville, TN. They are now serving in Sikeston, MO. Since 2007 they have moved to and worked with congregations on an interim basis to help the churches work through problems and conflicts. They also direct the “New Shepherds Orientation Workshops” to help strengthen church leaders throughout our brotherhood. It has been my privilege to know them since we were classmates at Freed-Hardeman. Jerry will be our speaker this morning and this afternoon at the 2:30 county-wide meeting of churches of Christ.