The Son of Encouragement
We are sometimes given nick-names. For example, when I served in School Chaplaincy for 13 years I was given the nick-name 'Rev' or 'Wazza.' There was once a man in the 1st Century Church named Joseph who was given a nick-name. He was a kind and generous man who always encouraged others to stay true to the Lord Jesus. Because of his attitude, Joseph was given the nick-name 'Barnabas' which means 'The Son of Encouragement.' Those early days of Church history were tough times for Christians. Arrests, beatings and executions were frequent. The first Christians needed constant encouragement, support, kindness and love. As a leader Barnabas set a wonderful example. He encouraged his brothers and sisters constantly. He befriended the newly converted Saul (Paul) when everyone was afraid of Paul. He looked after and mentored a fragile young man named Mark after Paul kicked Mark off his mission team. Barnabas even sold a property and gave all the money from the sale to the church for its work! Barnabas was such a great guy to have around. Today we need more Barnabas'. Oh we may not face arrest, beatings or executions, but we do still need encouragement to stay true to the Lord and follow The Way. To help encourage this ministry of encouragement I have introduced 'The Barnabas Spot' into the 10am Services on Sundays. A 'Barnabas Spot' creates an opportunity for any member of the congregation to speak briefly about how God has worked in their life. It doesn't have to be a big miraculous miracle. It is simply speaking about how the Lord has answered a prayer or sharing about what good things God is doing in your life so as to encourage us. To enable further encouragement, I am beginning something called '1st Priority.' '1st Priority' is a time for us to gather together for worship and prayer. We will be praying for the ministry, the Parish, the future and for one another. '1st Priority' is a monthly gathering commencing on Tuesday July 27 7pm to 8pm in the The Cedar Center foyer. I do hope you come along and encourage others in the Lord.
'Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.' 2 Corinthians 13 v 11.