I love pitchers.
I love their shape. I love their symbolism of pouring out. I love their uniqueness--how each one is so different and beautiful and purposeful.
When I see a pitcher, I am drawn to it. To me, it is a symbol of refreshment. It represents home, hospitality, and warmth.
I once served as a women's ministry leader and gave one hand-picked pitcher away each month to honor a woman in the group. I chose the woman based upon her selfless giving. I also chose women who I felt needed encouragement and to be honored.
A pitcher can't pour out what it doesn't have inside, and a pitcher doesn't quench thirst in and of itself, it carries the true refreshment. It is available to serve.
To me, the pitcher became a picture of these women who quietly served behind the scenes--vessels of honor, poured out by God. These women added beauty to everything around them and each one of them served with her own unique personality and talents in very different areas of need.
Within your group, you can encourage your special givers by looking for the ways they give behind the scenes. You can bring this to light by honoring them publicly or by just sending them a personal note. But everyone needs to be appreciated and seen.
A good leader serves. Recognizing your givers who "lead" behind the scenes is a way to serve them and lift them above yourself. It also shows that you are not a great leader by yourself--it takes everybody. And that was really my heart as I handed out those pitchers over the years--the group couldn't have been what it was without them.