And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Part of our responsibility as ones being restored to the original image is to help others do the same. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we are to “consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds” (Heb 10.24). We are to assist one another in becoming more like God in the areas of love and doing good. This aid comes from premeditated planning (consider how). This is a command from the Scriptures to think beforehand as to how to help someone become more like Christ. I call this intentionality in ministry.
Intentionality has taken a bum rap in recent years because some say smacks of an agenda or program. People don’t enjoy feeling like a project. Being intentional is not the problem. The problem is in the way we go about being intentional. If all I’m concerned about is getting a person to jump through my hoops, then insincerity will be sniffed out and the efforts of restoration become stilted. On the other hand, if a person is spurred on in a manner that communicates love and the best interest of the individual, then that person is more likely to stay engaged in the process. Fellowship treats others like a person not a project. Ministry is not just a task, it’s a relationship.
Modern American Christianity does not primarily suffer from these programmatic symptoms. It has gone to the other extreme. It has degenerated into talking about the weather or the latest sports scores for fear of seeming “preachy.” Kiononia (Greek word for fellowship: sharing in common) has become mostly what we have in common with the world rather than the Word or with leisure rather than the Lord.
Our commitment should be to help each other become all that God meant us to be. We are to sharpen one another (Prov 27.17), encourage one another (1 Th 5.11), and yes, even correct one another in a loving manner (2 Tim 4.2). This is our role in the restoration process.
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© 2008 Following Jesus by Chuck Wood All Rights Reserved