Summary: A call for church members to commit themselves to pray for the joy of their leaders.

Pray for the Joy of Your Leaders

20000910a - Based on Galatians 6.9


• Every one of us can uplift our teachers and leaders by praying for the joys of teaching to be theirs… (what joys?…)


Weariness is the problem. (text)

We become weary in well-doing…

• fruit takes a while

• lack of parental support or involvement

• devotions turn into preparation

• criticism outweighs encouragement

• vision lost in mundane

• alone without adequate support

Gloss: to lose heart…

Of pastors, as example:

• 90-95% discouraged in last 6 months

• ½ have experienced burnout

• 25% have been seriously depressed

• @ least 22 organizations exist to counsel burned out pastors..

We’ve all seen it. That too-cute poster of a clinging kitten, hind feet dangling in the air…

Joy, real joy, is always reflexive, a spontaneous, yet deep human outburst because something has happened. Joy isn’t a goal, an achievement. Joy is a byproduct, a gracious spinoff. "Let’s all get together and do a little joy." No. It’s a gift, a response to something that happens to you…

Joy of Jesus

The greatest and enduring joy is a vital relationship with Jesus and the knowledge that he loves me no matter what. (How wide and deep and long and high, etc…)

This is the greatest thing you will pray for your leaders and it’s where we need to start because of all the joys I want you to see this morning it is the one you can do nothing but pray to produce.

Illust: wallet/fridge/bumper sticker of God. If all the other sources of joy dry up, you’ll have this.

Rooted in Christ.

Renewal every week!

“We don’t see things as they are – we see things as we are.”

Ephesians 2.7 on the immeasurable wealth of God’s grace

God will never run out of fresh ways for us to revel in the profound joy of being loved!

PS100.2 important for us to be happy in the love of God as we do our ministry.

Hebrews 13.17 - let them do this joyfully...

When we feel lonely

When we are hurt

When we are afraid

When we feel inadequate

When we really goofed

When we have stopped before we should have

When the seeds of faith seem to be dying

When we get weary of religion

When we are plain down discouraged

When Christians greatly disappoint us

When we need courage and grace

When we have nothing more to give

Eternal God, thank you for your promise: "I will never leave you or forsake you"

(Hebrews 13:5). -- Adapted from a poem by Ray A. Strawser, September 16, 1996.

"Dennis the Menace" cartoon .. leaving Mrs. Wilson’s house, their hands full of cookies.

Joey says, "I wonder what we did to deserve this."

Dennis: "Joey, Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we’re nice, but because she’s nice."

--James Moore, Some Things Are Too Good Not to Be True (Nashville: Dimensions for Living, 1994), 86.

Nehemiah 8:10 describes this power by telling us that, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Another passage of Scripture also puts strength and joy together. We read in 1 Chronicles 16:27, "Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place." Strength and joy are linked together in Scripture because in the joy of Christ, of knowing Jesus, of dwelling in His presence, there is strength for the believer.

That is what John 15 is all about. The whole chapter is about abiding in Christ and drawing our resources and strength and joy from Him. You see, your relationship with Jesus Christ does not change even though other relationships change. (see Psalm 37)

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." This phrase is pregnant with meaning. It cuts like a two edged sword. It is the Lord’s joy that is our strength.

Joy by any other means will prove to be fleeting. This is what King Solomon discovered when he asked rhetorically, "Who can have enjoyment without God? "(Eccl. 2:25). Solomon had it all--he had love, money, and power beyond measure--but at the end of the day, he knew true happiness could only come from enjoying God.

Joy of Encouragement

While it isn’t something we can count on, we all need it. Teachers and leaders need to know that they are not alone – that they have not just been handed a responsibility by the rest of us.

Never meant to go alone..

H.B. London - “joy-suckers..” (ministry of criticism)

When we speak critically, God hears and hurts.

Come alongside… encourage with your commitment and actions, too!

• send a card on no special occasion

• give a book

• call, not to complain but to say thanks and we’re praying

• do their laundry (!) vs. giving a bunch of dirty “laundry”!

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