In my last post, I talked about the importance of being a member of a team. We looked at how teammates encourage one another. Today, let’s look at how teammates challenge and spur one another on.

The writer of Hebrews notes, "Let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Part of the point of meeting together is to provoke one another to love and good deeds.

I have several groups of pastors I meet with regularly.  Once a year I meet with the pastors of the largest churches in United Methodism for two days of sharing ideas about ministry and leadership.  About five times a year I get together with a couple of other pastors from large churches in my hometown, Kansas City, and we share ideas, insights, and we encourage one another. 

These guys bless me and they stretch me and help me to want to run faster, be stronger, and go higher. I hope I do the same for them.  We suggest books to each other, share sermons and sermon ideas, and I’m a better pastor because of this group.  We each achieve more by our relationship together. Every other month we get together for supper with our spouses and laugh together, share battle stories together, and spur one another on.  My church small group has also done this in my life like no other. 

Here’s something to think about:  What effect do you have on the people you hang out with?  Do they want to be more and better, to live selfless and sacrificially, because they were with you?  Do they desire to be more Christian or less by your presence? 

I’m not talking about your being preachy or “holier than thou” towards them.  But by your humbly sharing of things you’ve done in service to Christ, or by urging your friends in ways that will help them grow (“Hey, how about if we do this or that thing?”), you can provoke them to love and good deeds.

Again, I’ll ask you, who is on your team? Who are the people with whom you surround yourself? Do you challenge and provoke them to love and good deeds? Do they do the same for you?  


You may be interested in listening to my current sermon series, The Games: Faster, Higher, Stronger.


photo credit: stock.xchng


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