By Jeff Miller
“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:24-25
Imagine these scenarios: You are the captain of your team, and you witness a situation where an underclassman teammate is being put down by one of the older players. You can see they feel uncomfortable standing up for themselves. You hear someone saying something untrue about one of your teammates who is not present to defend herself. Or, you have been a five-year high school varsity starter, and one of your friends who is trying out for the first time gets laughed at by your teammates due to his or her lack of experience and skill.
As leaders, we have a responsibility to hold our teammates accountable for building one another up—to strengthen the team. Similarly, we have a responsibility to hold them accountable when their behavior is detrimental and tearing others down. While it may feel awkward, now is the time for leaders to step up and model the behavior that is required to build a strong team culture and bring the cohesion required to compete at a high level.
The author of Hebrews was proposing this very thing in chapter 10. It is suggested the author may have been writing to an audience where there was division, and some were considering turning back to their old ways and giving up on their Christian faith. The author goes on to provide suggestions that would help them to hold each other accountable, grow closer, and spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
The central idea of this suggestion was to rally the believers. Why is this so important? When we are isolated, it is much easier for the enemy to harm us than when we are united and in close relationships with those in our community. When adversity comes our way, we are better able to work through hard situations together. And if someone in our community needs gentle correction or even encouragement, we gain trust and responsibility to speak truth in love. God created us for community, and the way we strengthen one another is through living life together in God’s Word. We are called to a higher standard and challenge others to live the same.
● How are you being intentional to invite others who may not be in your immediate circle to gather and encourage one another regularly?
● What examples can you look back on and see where your team or group was so closely knit that it was easier to hold each other accountable?
● What current opportunity might God be providing for you to step up as a leader to model this accountability?
Father God, thank You for your matchless love for all Your children. Thank You for creating us to do life together and in doing so, to be an encouragement to one another. We accept the responsibility that we may need to speak up and act for our fellow brothers and sisters. Lord, if there is an area we need to examine in our own hearts, we ask that You provide that gentle correction through others as well. Continue to guide us as we seek to become more like Christ in all aspects of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.