“And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”
Not much is known about Clement other than Paul encouraging the believers in Philippi to intreat him for his labor in the Gospel. Paul was the type of leader who remembered those who were often forgotten. He knew that he was able to do the work he did because of those who worked with him in the shadows of the ministry. In every Pauline epistle, you will find those laborers whom Paul pointed out who otherwise would have never received credit or appreciation for their work.
Every leader needs to be careful that they don’t become so self-absorbed that they forget those who work in the shadows. Every ministry has people who are seen, and often those who are seen are those who receive the credit for what is accomplished. However, every ministry also has those who work in the background and walk in the shadows of the ministry that do their work without ever being noticed. Every leader should be careful not to take these people for granted. It is often those forgotten people who work in the shadows that are the biggest reason a ministry succeeds. Four things we must remember about those who work in the shadows.
First, every person wants to be appreciated. One of the things that I love about the Apostle Paul was that he understood the importance of showing appreciation. One thing you will always find about those leaders who are greatly loved and appreciated is that they don’t forget to show appreciation to those who work behind the scenes. The leader who never shows appreciation to those forgotten laborers is the leader who will one day find themselves doing the work alone. It is not hard to show appreciation. In fact, showing appreciation only takes a little bit of time to thank those who help you accomplish the work that is being done.
Second, every person desires gratitude for what they do. Paul was quick to point out that Clement was a fellow-labourer in the ministry. A good leader is sure to share the successes with those who labored with them. Self-absorbed leaders never mention the names of those who help to get the work done. I know that you must be careful as a leader when you start mentioning names, but people do appreciate the leader who calls their name in appreciation for the labor they contributed.
Third, it takes character to remember those who walk in the shadows. You won’t show appreciation on accident. You are going to have to set time aside to remember those who work in the shadows. Some of the best time you will spend is the time you take to show appreciation for those who work in the shadows. It encourages them that the leader actually thinks about them.
Fourth, don’t let a time of reprimand be the only time to remember the forgotten. You are a poor leader if the only time you remember people is when they do something wrong. You must always remember that you wouldn’t be given credit for any success if it wasn’t for those who helped you. Don’t be an unappreciative leader who only remembers people to reprimand them. Showing appreciation goes a long ways in building morale and encouraging people to continue their labors for Christ.