In yesterday’s post, “Examples of Mutual Edification When the Church Gathers,” I offered several examples of how we work together to build up on another when we get together. I included examples of studying Scripture together, singing together, praying together, and eating together. (As I said in that post, a Facebook friend suggested that I write about those examples.)
At the end of that post, I also said that there was an absolutely necessary element that leads to mutual edification. What element is that? It’s sharing our lives with one another throughout the week in many different way and at many different times.
There’s something else that we do that always results in us building each other up, and this activity has additional benefits as well. I’m talking about serving others together. Don’t misunderstand me. It can be very beneficial to serve others individual, and we often do this as well. But, when we serve others together, we get the added benefit of having many opportunities to edify one another as we serve.
While the specific types of service can be “big” things, even small acts of serving together can be a catalyst for mutual edification. We’ve done simple things like rake leaves, cut grass, work at a food pantry, make food, etc. We’ve also done bigger things together like traveling across the state, to other states, and even around the world together in order to serve others. However, like I said, even simple tasks of service allow us to not only love others, but also to build up one another while we serve.
How do we build up one another while we serve others? Well, certainly, there are usually opportunities to talk and encourage and teach one another as we serve side by side. Similarly, as we find out what different people are going through, we’re able to pray together as we serve. But, even the encouragement to serve is a method of edifying each other.
You see, when we do some kind of service like this, it’s usually initiated by one of our brothers or sisters who knows the person being served and the need for service. This brother or sister tells others about the opportunity/need, we pray about it, and then decide as a group how to serve the person.
There have a been a few times when I did not want to serve someone… oh, I knew that I should want to, and it showed me that my heart was not in the right place. Because of the example and encouragement of my brothers and sisters and the opportunities that they brought to our attention, my heart / love issue was brought to the surface (and of course, I wasn’t the only one). Thus, together, we are encouraged to grow in love and concern for others.
Interestingly, I’ve found recently that the teenagers among us often take the lead in these opportunities to serve together. They seem to love to gather together for the purpose of caring for someone else. What an encouragement this has been to the rest of us!
How about you? Have you ever served other people together with brothers and sisters in Christ? Have you found this to also be an opportunity to edify one another?