“You know the household of Stephanas….. that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints…. I rejoice over the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus because they have supplied what was lacking….. they have refreshed my spirit. (I Corinthians 16:15-18)
Thank God for the encouragers and healers in the church, those men and women whose calling in life seems to be to find a need and meet it, or find a hurt and comfort it. As they enter a room they are drawn to anyone in pain or trouble.
They are godsends. They are living proof of God’s goodness. They are the ones who keep overworked pastors and their stressed-out spouses from giving up and walking away. I think they are a special gift to the Body of Christ.
In the passage above, Paul mentioned such people. They had devoted themselves to serving the saints, supplied what was lacking, and were a source of joy and refreshing for Paul. They deserved respect and acknowledgment for their service.
Some people – let’s admit it – wear us out, use us up, and make us want to run for cover. But there are others who refresh us and leave us stronger than when they found us. Thank God for such people.
In the early church, willing and spontaneous service was the beginning of an official office. A man or woman became a leader – not so much by a man-made appointment – but rather his or her work of service marked them as one who could be trusted and deserved respect.
We owe these people a great deal.
Yesterday at PCC I encountered these kinds people once again. If not for them, I honestly don’t know how long I could last in the ministry. Their acts of sacrificial service, being first responders to those in need, offering encouragement to me and others in the Body, shouldering some of the load, and supplying whatever is lacking is a GREAT SOURCE OF JOY and REFRESHES MY SPIRIT.
That's why I look forward to our services at PCC each week. My anticipation of excitment is that I will encounter these people again. In fact, it's one of the main draws for me.