An Encouraging Church
Read: Acts 28:14-15
The church has been through a lot since Jesus went back to heaven. With all the splits, disagreements and scandals, you might wonder why it still exists at all. What’s our mission? What’s the church’s goal? When we read Acts, we see the church’s role clearly. The church is an outlet for group worship and a community where believers draw support and encouragement in their walks with Christ.
We hear so much arguing over preference, it’s difficult to believe the church’s purpose could be so simple. When we spend hours arguing over dress codes and styles of music, important work gets neglected. The functionality of the church is diminished. Our worship grows lukewarm, because we’re more concerned about whether people are raising their hands than hearing what God wants to say to us. The encouragement and support we’re called to give others suddenly feels surface-level and obligatory rather than heartfelt.
So, how do we get ourselves on track? Consider how the brothers that Paul met in Puteoli greeted him. They traveled to see him. They invited Paul and his companions to spend a week with them. We don’t see them question Paul’s methods. They know he’s been working for Christ, so they come to celebrate his work and encourage him, not to correct his ways.
“At the sight of these men, Paul thanked God and was encouraged.” As a church, we need to do all we can to restore the energy of those promoting the Gospel. We should be eager in encouraging, tactful in correcting and focused on Christ in everything we do.