ADVERTISING
 
Friday, November 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Peter Mead
 

Prayerful & proactive

A healthy church requires more than just a good diet from the pulpit. 

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTHOR Peter Mead 15 MARCH 2019 17:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Alexis Brown. Unsplash (CC0).

The preaching of God’s Word is massively significant in the life of the local church. 



You cannot have a healthy church without effective biblical preaching. But a healthy church requires more than just a good diet from the pulpit. 



A healthy local church will be characterized by believers “one anothering one another” as some like to say – that mutual ministry that occurs not sat in rows hearing the sermon, but face to face and shoulder to shoulder throughout the week.



Here are two well known verses from Hebrews 10:




And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.




Perhaps you’ve heard these verses quoted as a nudge to attend services at church?  While services are the typical format in which believers meet together, this is not really saying that attendance at services is key. 



It is what happens in the church fellowship that is being addressed here. It is possible to attend every service in a church, but never actually engage with the life of that church fellowship. 



It is sad that some will have attended services for their whole life, but never actually participated in what these verses are describing.



In the original context, the members of the church community were feeling the pressure of their circumstances and were starting to retreat and pull back from the life of the body of Christ. 



The preacher/writer to the Hebrews is urging them not to pull back from Christ, or the body of Christ!



Notice that there are two “one another’s” here. The first involves stirring up one another to love and good works.



The word translated “stir up” is typically a negative word. It can refer to a sharp disagreement between people, or a strong response to something that is sour. And yet here it is used positively. 



Like a cattle prod, or a sheep dog, or a whip on a horse – a negative thing used to achieve a good goal. So believers are to agitate one another toward spiritual health.



I think it is really important to notice that we are not simply commanded to do this, but rather to consider how to do it. That extra layer of preparation is important. 



There are some in the church who feel it is their God-given role to freely administer rebuke and discomfort in the body of Christ. These people often have too high a view of their own ability to discern and tend to do more damage than good. 



No, rather, we are to prayerfully ponder how we can carefully provoke spiritual health in those closest to us in the church.



Then there is the other side of the coin – the more obviously positive side, if you like. We are to “encourage one another” as we see Christ’s return getting closer. 



This seems easier – less planning needed, just go for it.  Be an encourager. Say thank you. Write a note. Affirm people. Express appreciation. Cheer people on in their church service, or their family life, or their spiritual growth.



It seems to me that some people get these two “one anothers” reversed in a certain sense. Some find it too easy to offer criticism widely, but withhold encouragement and only offer it to those closest to them. We should reverse that. 



Offer encouragement to everyone as freely as you can, the church needs lots of that. And then prayerfully ponder those in your closer circle of friends – those where the relationship exists for you to carefully provoke them to growth and greater spiritual health.



This kind of “one anothering” does not happen as we sit side by side listening to the sermon.



But in a healthy church, it will happen as a result of God’s Word stirring our hearts with love for God and those around us.



Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared on his blog Biblical Preaching.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Prayerful & proactive
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates

The hip-hop artist and his gospel choir performed ‘Jesus Is King’ songs in a Houston prison. Images of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

 
How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us? How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us?

“It is not just pastors who do ministry. When the saints are doing the ministry too, the Body of Christ is build up and grows towards maturity in the faith”, says Greg Ogden, Chairman Global Discipleship Initiative.

 
Porn exploits victims of human trafficking Porn exploits victims of human trafficking

The European Freedom Network launches a new anti-trafficking campaign: “You have no way of knowing if the porn you are looking at is from someone who chose to be there or not”.

 

 

 
A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees

Thousands still cross the border to Colombia every week, and many continue on foot into the interior. Christian young people have set up an aid station along the road.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.