In a seminary class long ago, a professor tried to teach us to recognize the “true congregational leaders,” he meant the ones who have an impact, who can make a difference just by showing up. He said that they might be hard to spot–they didn’t always wear a specific “hat” or title, like “church-council president” or the “evangelism committee chair.”
He said you’d know them by their way of participating, the kinds of work you’d see them do. He divided these leaders into categories: First there are the organizers who help make things happen. Then there are the socializers, who pass along information. They are the ones who tell stories, connect people to each other and build networks. And lastly there are the saints.
These are believers who have soaked up the church in their very bodies. They have lived the church and know its long-time stories. Take a look around your congregation on Sunday and see if you can pick out the leaders: the organizers, the socializers and the saints. Thank God for them, and take a moment to thank them. And then ask yourself where you might fit.
This message is adapted from “Grace In Their Bones” by Kate Sprutta Elliott in June 1999 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.