1 November 2017

How have you been encouraged in your faith, your walk with Jesus, in recent times? It is important to be encouraged to keep going in the Christian life, which can often be quite hard and a struggle.

Whilst on long service leave earlier in the year, I spent some time reflecting on the idea of encouragement for a few reasons:

  • I wanted to be more positive in my own faith and growth as a Christian;
  • I wanted to encourage others to do the same, especially since the wider world family of God was under attack and experiencing discouraging times.

So I began reflecting on what attitudes and behaviours I needed to consistently work on to be an encouragement to others and influence them to do the same. I found it helpful to think about the Bible passages that talk of encouragement… There’s quite a few of them!

The Bible & encouragement

Romans 12 is one of those ‘highlight’ chapters in the Bible for many reasons. The section on service in the body of Christ talks about different gifts. And verse 8 speaks of ‘encouragement’ as being one of these.

Romans 15 speaks of the scriptures being an encouragement to us to keep us going in the faith, along with ‘God giving endurance and encouragement so that we may have the same attitude of mind towards each other that Christ Jesus had’. This is powerful stuff and will help us in the marathon that is the Christian life. God-given encouragement helps us when we’re feeling weak to be strong in Christ!

Most of Paul’s letter’s to the churches contain sections on how they are an encouragement to him and to each other as they follow Christ. As one of the minister’s at St Michael’s, I resonate with the feeling of being encouraged by those I minister to and with.

Thankfulness for those who serve

To the parents who come to Night Church with their teens, serve on supper rosters, and generally seem to love coming at night and really love the youthy music – I love seeing you each week at 7pm!

To the families at our 9:30am, 11am and 5pm services who bring their kids along to church, sometimes kicking and screaming, often a bit tired or flat, please keep going, we need you at church more than you know.

Youth and kids leaders, you know how much I love you guys – your leadership, time and energy invested in the kids and youth of our church will count for eternity! There’s nothing more important that you could be doing in life. Thanks for realising this and obeying Jesus with your time and life.

Scripture teachers week in, week out, teach the Bible to kids who may not hear it anywhere else, and some don’t want to hear it at all. But God’s is working in those young hearts and lives – so persevere!

These are just a few of those who I serve alongside each week. You encourage me, thanks!

Andy Stevenson
Youth and Children’s Minister