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The church is the living breathing mechanism through which God works in us, to spur us on to victorious Christian living, and through us to edify and encourage each other. The profound beauty of the body of Christ in it's breadth is staggering when you think about it.
It's so much bigger than your local church or mine. It's THE CHURCH - the global gathering of all who have placed faith in Christ.
Those whom the Lord has given us as pastors - shepherds to disciple us, encourage us, comfort us and, yes, correct us, have a big job on their hands. No church is perfect - with all of us and our junk crowding the pews every week. These courageous folks who have answered the call of God to walk beside us, as our souls are conformed into the image of Christ, have huge jobs and we should never take them lightly.
I was reminded of the importance of covering our church leaders in prayer this past weekend. I watched proudly from the front row of a crowded auditorium as a seminary colleague of mine, Ikki Soma, was installed as the pastor of City Of Refuge Church in Houston, Texas. Ikki, originally from Japan, has been like a "big brother" of mine for 15 years now and tears formed in my eyes as the men of his denomination surrounded his kneeling body, laid hands on him and spoke to the Lord on his behalf.
I was very profoundly impacted when the elder hosting the proceedings asked the congregation to stand and then asked if they would commit to pray for Ikki and his family, submit to his authority and encourage him as he serves them as pastor.
They enthusiastically responded "Yes"!
How beautiful - a congregation making a commitment to pray for their leader.
May this be a reminder for all of us to keep our pastors and their families covered and never take for granted the load that they carry.
It's a broad burden for which they have willing volunteered their own shoulders.
Bless them Jesus.
I'm praying for my pastor, Dr. Tony Evans, today. Tell me about yours.