God has given us the Holy Spirit who empowers us to make progress in the Christian life. Because of this, as a church family we should be celebrating and championing the progress we see in our brothers and sisters in Christ as they become the people God intends them to become. There are two broad categories where we can celebrate this Spirit empowered progress.
- Fighting Sin. The Spirit convicts us of sin and empowers us to fight against it. This makes us vulnerable and stretches us, and for this to happen in the best way possible, then CrossWay needs to be a place where this can be done in safety. Therefore, while we don’t expect perfect holiness (although we aim toward it), our culture needs to be one of encouraging each other’s progress as they become more Christlike. (Rom. 8:12-14; Gal. 5:16-24)
- Spiritual Gifts. God intends for the church to grow in maturity as the people use their gifts to minister to one another. God could zap each of us and make us mightily strong in our spiritual gifts, but often times, they take regular practice and honing. This means we need to help people realize what their gifts are, and encourage them to vulnerably try new things that may be outside of their comfort zone even if it occasionally means we experience some that is done less professionally that we would prefer. We view this process as a privilege. We’re not suffering through something or receiving something less. We are investing in the future of CrossWay, in the broader church, and in the coming generations. (Eph. 4:11-16)
- Consider someone you know who struggles in a certain area. List three ways you have seen God’s grace at work in their life. If appropriate, how could you encourage them with this?
- Name one person you have seen become more like Christ over the past year. How can you point this out to them and encourage them?
- Who have you seen grow in using their spiritual gifts this past year? How can you encourage them in this?