The last two exhortations in this list of final things the writer wants to say to his readers involves obeying Church leaders and praying for them. When we think about the people we elect to Church council, and the teachers we appoint to teach our classes, and those who give leadership to our various ministries, we must remember that these are not just people doing a necessary task. They are actually involved in the essential work of “watching over your soul”! Sometimes leading people to grow strong in their faith can feel like pulling teeth, when people don’t seem interested and everything a leader tries meets with a yawn. Verse 17 tells us that that’s no fun for anyone. But when people are praying for their leaders and they are responding to the things the leader is trying to do, then things begin to happen and souls grow stronger and stronger in the Lord.
So do pray for all those who are leading us here at Lewis Lake. Ask God to use them to guide is into the kinds of things that will strengthen the souls of children, teens and adults. And then embrace those things with joy. For this is how God created the Church to work!