Unsung Heroes and Heroine's

Luther Blackmon
Clermont, Florida

The preacher is mentioned in almost every public prayer. The Lord is asked to give him health, strength and wisdom. This is fine. Quite often his birthday and the holiday seasons bring cards and gifts to him and to his family. The members of the congregation are trying to show the appreciation for his work. He is invited into the hoes of the people and shown every courtesy that Christian hospitality allows. I like all this. I am not complaining. But what of the others in the church?

Well, the elders and deacons are not in the limelight, generally speaking, as much as the preacher. The work of the elders is pretty trying sometimes, if they try to do their duty, and their task is often a thankless' one. But they do have the sympathy and encouragement of the members who are well taught, and who understand their responsibilities.

But when you find a church that is strong and growing, you will always find behind these elders, deacons and preachers, a host of people of whom you hear very little, but "who also serve." Like the song leader, for example, whose work is just taken for granted. He is not really obligated to sing praises to the Lord more than any other Christian. But he is there, has some songs selected, has to, always be on time, has to sit near the front; takes a lot of the blame if the singing is not too good, when the real trouble is the lack of interest shown by too many of the other members of the congregation. Good singers sit scattered all over the house, and some of them don't even bother to sing. What if the song leader should decide to sit in the back of the house? That's an, easy one. We could either do away with the singing entirely or each one sing his own song in his own way. That would be a spectacle to make the angels weep, and would ' sound about like smothering a bunch of cats with newspapers.

Then there are Bible classes to be taught, if we are to have Bible classes. These require teachers. Believe me, this is no small task. If a Bible class is to be of any profit, the teacher has a lot more to do than to keep the students in the room for forty-five minutes. It takes a lot of time and the patience of Job. It is really easy to just say, "Oh no, I don't think I am qualified... Get someone else." That "someone else" who takes the elms is usually just as busy as the one who didn't have time. The Bible class teachers don't get much publicity, but only eternity will reveal the good that has been done by conscientious teachers who take time to do it.

There are many other jobs to be done in a church that is fulfilling its mission. Jobs like visiting the weak and discouraged members; greeting the visitors at each service; attending the meeting every night during the special effort, and bringing others to be taught. They, too, just being there in your place, sending that unspoken word of encouragement that every preacher needs when he steps into the pulpit. A message that says, "I am with you."

They don't get many pats on the back. They don't expect it. They are there because there is work to be done and they do it. These are the unsung heroes and heroines, and don't you forget it. Without their work, our efforts would make a poor showing.

February 3, 1972