The church is a community of believers who are to serve, love and encourage one another. Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica to, “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).
Two aspects stand out for us. First, encouraging one another was a way of life for the Christians in Thessalonica. Paul points out that is exactly what they are doing! The Church saw this as a part of their Christian life with one another. Second, encouraging one another is the responsibility of every believer. Paul is not writing this to the pastor of the church as if this role is his responsibility and his alone. No, he is writing to every believer encouraging them to continue in living out their faith in this way. Every Christian is to take part in this type of ministry towards one another. It can be as simple as a listening ear, a word of prayer, a card or note in the mail, saying hello… the list is endless!
In the Book of Acts, we are introduced to a man named Barnabas. His name means “son of encouragement.” I’m sure Barnabas was a like a cold drink on a blistering hot day-really refreshing!! When the Church encourages each other we refresh weary believers, we strengthen those who doubt, and the Body becomes a welcome place, a refuge from the jungle that is the world.
So how will you be a Barnabas to someone today?