It's been a while since I've written anything about goings on at church. Since February or thereabouts we've been based at permanent premises in Brunswick, known as The Hub. Church members generously donated their time and in some cases money and building materials to convert what was a warehouse into a community centre, with a chapel, offices, and meeting rooms. Last Sunday we began a four week series of messages aimed at imparting practical skills to improve communication, dealing with differences, and empowering those around you, which we publicised with advertisements in the local paper and letterbox drops. The above picture is one side of the postcards we distributed. The first message was about encouragement.
In the pages of the Bible, we read of Barnabas, who worked alongside the apostle Paul. He appears mainly in the book of Acts, and also in some of Paul's epistles. As we heard on Sunday, his name meant "son of encouragement" in the Greek text (Acts 4:36). Barnabas must have been exceptionally gifted in this area to merit this name, and considering what Paul went through in his missionary journeys, exemplifies how valuable a timely word of encouragement can be.
Someone once told me I had a gift for encouraging people, so I've tried to be obedient since then, and use it whenever I've thought it was appropriate to do so.