How do We Encourage and Build Up the Church?
Hearing people singing the songs heartily, praying earnestly, sharing testimony of how the Lord has been at work in them, these will all encourage other believers. Nothing encourages your elders more than seeing you grow in maturity and Christ-likeness. This is the ultimate fruit of engaging with the Word, engaging with the church, engaging with the commands of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 exhorts us, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, to ‘encourage one another and build each other up’. But what are the key ways to encourage and build up other believers in the church? Here, in no particular order, are a few ways.
It’s hard to encourage people when you are never with them. In fact, if you are continually away from the meetings of the gathered body, far from encouraging and building up the body, you are actively discouraging it. It is so disappointing when the preacher stands up to share God’s Word and people aren’t there because they couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed or they had better things to do than worship the living God and meet with his people. These things are a major discouragement. One of the key ways you can build up and encourage the church is by showing up to things.
Showing up is absolutely vital, but engaging in what is going on when you are there is similarly encouraging. Of course, some of your engagement will depend on your particular church setup and liturgy. But in our church, we have participation from the congregation in the prayers, the songs and our time of testimony.