Ministry of Encouragement

 The writer of “The Book of Hebrews” reminds us, to “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called, ‘Today,’ lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:13).  Later, he follows up on his own reminder, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, … but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”  (Heb. 10:23-25). To the church at Thessalonica, Paul wrote, “…encourage the fainthearted, help the weak,…” (1 Thess. 5:14). 

Through all the years of my serving with the StC church family, so many  have been excellent in trying to follow through on those words.  We have always tried to help each other by sharing each other’s loads.  Our church family has a great reputation of sending cards to encourage others by letting them know we are praying for them and are there for them if and when they need us.

However, sometimes some of our church family members are overlooked and we fail to minister to them effectively.  They “slip through the cracks.”  Several years ago, a ministry was begun to help minimize the number of those who were being overlooked.  That ministry has evolved into our present-day “Ministry of Encouragement.”  Its primary purpose is to try to assure that those who need encouragement receive it.

Every two weeks, different teams are asked to contact various ones who need encouragement.  Most of the time that list contains the same names–primarily the names of those who are confined to their homes or nursing homes and are no longer able to worship with us regularly.  My personal visits with the recipients of those cards, notes, calls or visits are very encouraging to me personally.  Those visits continually remind me of the real need for this vital part of our congregation’s ministry.  The people rarely fail to tell me how much being contacted means to them.  They tell me how many times the card, the call or the visit came at just the right time in their struggles.  They tell me how much it makes them feel they are still a part of our church family.  Those visits are invigorating and encouraging to me because they remind me of the importance of this ministry.

    Another successful year of encouraging others through the “Ministry of Encouragement” is coming to an end and we are preparing for 2013.  If you would like to become actively involved in encouraging others–especially many who are at risk of “slipping through the cracks,” let me know.  And we’ll get you involved with one of the Visitation Teams.

                                                                                                                                                             Because He Cares,  Everett


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