Today is the deadline for men to submit their names for consideration to become elders—shepherds of God’s flock at this church. It is an exciting day because it brings us one step closer to what we could and should be as a congregation.

To the men who are considering volunteering, I urge you to bathe this decision in prayer, seek good council, and be willing to stand up and take this wonderful responsibility. The future of this church is in your hands.

To the men, women, and children who will be serving alongside these men, let me tell you that they need encouragement. Elijah had down days. Moses grew weary. Jesus wept. Our leaders are no different. They need your encouragement. A healthy church is full of encouragers. As important as knowledge is, love matters more. “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up!” (1 Corinthians 8:1)

Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” William Arthur Ward said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me, and I may be forced to love you!”

I really like this one: “Remember, man does not live on bread alone; sometimes he needs a little buttering up!”

We need to be encouragers. Today, encourage the next generation of this church’s leadership. In a few months, encourage them as they settle into the task of shepherding this flock. Your honest and loving words will make an eternal difference.