I hear that in Buddhists countries the beggars are not appreciative of those who help them because the beggars feel they are helping the helpers to get into the Paradise.
Some house church members may have similar thoughts. Even when their shepherds and their spouses provide help for them, they are not very appreciative. They seem to believe they themselves offeing their shepherd a chance to serve. Therefore, Instead of being thankful, if the shepherd’s help is below their expectation, they complain.
There is no reason why the shepherd must serve their members. Shepherds are not paid a salary, nor are they full time professional ministers. They serve only because they love the Lord. Sometimes the members forget this and take the shepherds sacrifices for granted.
I think the shepherds feel disappointed in the following situations.
While shepherd is trying to meet a project deadline, working both day and night, a member complains because the shepherd is not paying close attention to him. Due to financial struggles, a shepherd’s wife must return to work, but a member complains because she does not spend much time with him/her as before. Due to emergency situation, shepherds own family himself needs help, but the members don’t bother to lift a finger to help. When a new member joins, it would be so nice if the existing members help to welcome the new members. But the old members act like taking care of a new member is sole responsibility of the shepherd. An existing member who is fully capable and has the time but when asked to share the ministries, find all sorts of excuses and refuses.
There aren’t many shepherds or wives who feel these disappointments. That is because most members are very understanding. Also the shepherds are willing to sacrifice and serve. But I know that it is only human to feel these disappointments from time to time.
Shepherd and members are co-workers in Christ. It is not healthy that the shepherds always serve while the members are always receiving servitude. Both shepherd and members must serve each another.
Shepherds and their spouse only look forward to rewards from God. But wouldn’t it also be nice if house church members remember show appreciation with a small gift on their birthdays or on special holidays.
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