Ah, the end of a year carries mixed feelings.
It was with a sense of excitement that we recently held a leadership appreciation meeting. This gathering marks the end of a full year of study, outreach projects, discussions, and meetings. Summer is here and offers a welcome change of pace, with less structure, for the women of the church. What a joy it was to look out and see the circle leaders, study facilitators, and other lead positions gathered together!
This was a special opportunity for me to express my appreciation to the leadership for serving this past year.
What does it mean to “serve”? One reference sights “to render habitual obedience, to minister, give aid, give help, or show devotion.” All of these women who serve have set a good example, taken time to welcome new women, and have endeavored to encourage others. They have held prayer requests close for so many and have sought the Lord for guidance, concerns, and decisions.
But also, as leaders, we are reminded that we must care for ourselves. Now is the time to enter into a season of rest and refreshment and to spend extra time with the Lord, seeking His guidance and direction. We truly have an opportunity to deepen our relationship with Him and allow Him to offer insights and new ways to reflect His love through our service.
After such a time, we can emerge renewed and refreshed. It will help us to be better leaders.
I am a practical person and enjoy the opportunity to express myself with an object lesson. This year, I chose a simple token for each woman in leadership– a small serving tray inscribed with the words, “Serve with JOY.” My desire for each leader was not only that they serve in love, but with JOY…Jesus-Others-You. My practical application for them was to use their trays to serve in simple ways throughout the summer.
When we remain focused on Jesus, we will serve faithfully.
In order to care for our leaders, we must encourage and appreciate them, allowing them a time of rest so they are prepared to continue to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13.)
Jeanne Kuhlman serves on the Leadership Committee of the Women’s Resource Council. She and her husband, Dexter, live in Chesterfield, Missouri. They have two grown children and four grandchildren, all living in the St. Louis area. Jeanne is retired but her days are full. She serves as Lead Coordinator for Women in Ministry at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. She is also active in her community and is a mentor with a local MOPS group. She enjoys cooking, crafting- especially with paper, and entertaining.