There is a verse of Scripture that rattles my cage every time I read it which is quoted below.  The part that rattles my cage is in italics… but the part that motivated this post is in italics and bold.  The verse is Hebrews 13:17…

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Many… and I do mean MANY… pastors serve faithfully, but not with joy.  They groan daily as they carry out their call.  And that is not good for them or those they serve.  Then I read an email sent to me which suggested criteria for a joyful ministry, and therefore a joyful congregation.  Consider these things that would honor God and result in joy..

  • People who continue to show growth in their walk with the Lord.
  • People who have a genuine concern for their brothers and sisters in the faith.
  • People who do not turn a deaf ear to the lost.
  • People who walk by faith and not by sight.
  • People who pray rather than faint.
  • People who are drawn to peace rather than contention.
  • People whose self-image is based on who they are in Christ rather than what they accomplish by themselves.
  • People who pass the torch of righteousness to the next generation.
  • People who love the church and give themselves to it.
  • Any congregation that is filled with joy have ministers and people working from the same page.  My thought is that for God’s people to be the way mentioned above… their pastor should be that way himself!