This is the one new member you should pray for

1 04 2013

If you care about your church, here is a tip from the church at Antioch as to how you should pray. An excerpt from THE AMAZING POTENTIAL OF ONE SURRENDERED CHURCH (p.31).

One of the most beautiful aspects of every church is the way God skillfully prepares and uses simple people to fill vital roles at precisely the time they are needed. If you think about it, you’ll discover that God has done this in your church. In one way or another, God provided someone to encourage your church the way Barnabas did Antioch. These people of faith and grace share certain qualities, no matter when they live.

First, an Encourager gains trust. As Barnabas had proven his reliability in Jerusalem, anyone who provides an essential link in a church’s life has prepared him or herself by being dependable. When the critical moment comes, he is able to encourage because he has established himself as one having sound judgment and godly character.

Second, an Encourager possesses and conveys spiritual optimism. The clearest description of Barnabas’ character is: “for he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith” (Acts 11:24). These few words will describe any man or woman God uses to provide timely encouragement for one of His churches. They are “good”—not self-seeking or manipulative. They are “full of the Holy Spirit”—deeply spiritual and attuned to God, relying on God’s perspective more than their own. And they are full of “faith”—able to believe in God to be at work as only He can.

Third, an Encourager emphasizes grace. “Then when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced” (Acts 11:23). Barnabas surely saw much in the chaotic multi-cultural assembly that needed improvement. Others might have judged their practices as inappropriate. But an Encourager looks through the lens of God’s grace, asking whether or not God’s hand is at work.

FOR DISCUSSION

  1. What encouragers has God used in your church?
  2. What are the obstacles you face in encouraging new and different things the Lord does around you?

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