Did you know that it’s illegal to climb Mount Everest alone? After countless deaths of people trying to scale to the top, the government of Nepal has declared it against the law to make the attempt on your own. You are now required to go as part of a team. Why? Because it’s just too dangerous to do it without being tied to others. This past year, over 300 people died trying to reach the top. Doing it as part of a team is the only way to ensure safety and survival for people making the journey to the top of Everest. You must be tied to other people, have capable leaders, and tackle the challenges together.
That’s true on Mount Everest, and it’s true in life. There are a lot of people trying to do it alone, but that doesn’t make it smart. The dangers along the way are too serious to ignore, and the only way to ensure safety and survival is to do it as part of a team. That team is the church, and that’s why we strategically plan our ministries to be fellowship together around the Word of God. It provides the safety and security of being tied to other believers, having capable leaders, and tackling the challenges together.
Here’s the thing. This blog post in not about how much you need other Christians in your life. That’s true, but this blog post is about this fact — they need you. The other Christians in your church, in your small group, and in your bible study. They need you and your encouragement, and that’s a huge responsibility of souls that each of us share together. Your role in all of this is huge. You may not think that you have much to offer the other Christians around you, but according to the Lord, they need you as much as you need them.
The Lord constantly tells ordinary people to “care for one another” and to “encourage one another” and to “bear one another's burdens” and to "comfort one another” and plenty of other "one another’s” (don’t believe me? Those came from these verses: 1 Cor 12:25, 1 Thess 5:11, Gal 6:2, 1 Thess 4:18). Not the pastors; the ordinary normal Christians. Part of what it means to be a Christian is to help other people be a Christian. You need the help of other Christians tied to you on the way up the mountain, and they need your help too. We’re all responsible for one another’s spiritual lives.
“If you’re not helping others follow Jesus, I don’t know what you mean when you say you follow Jesus.” – Mark Dever
As we speak God's Word to one another, we pray that his Spirit would cause that truth to flourish in our lives. The Bible's vision of "ministry" is quite different from what we typically mean when we use the word. We imagine pastors doing all the ministry while all the saints benefit from the ministry. However, according to Ephesians 4:11-16, Pastors are there to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry." That puts every saint (every Christian) in the drivers seat for ministry to other beleivers, responsible to care for the spiritual well-being of others.
- All Christians should teach each other (Col 3:16).
- All Christians should minister to one another (1 Pet 4:10-11).
- All Chrsitians should abound in the work of the Lord (1 Cor 15:58).
- All Christians should work towards growth of the church (Eph 4:15-16).
- All Christians should make disciples and teach them (Matt 28:19-20).
Thankfully, the Bible also teaches us that all Christians are able to instruct one another (Romans 15:14). That's good news: you can do this — but think about this — do you consider the spiritual growth of other Christians to be a priority in your life? According to the above verses, and plenty of others, God wants to use you to pray for, speak the word to, and encourage other Christians. How will you do that this week? Who might God want you to pray with? How will you plan to do that this month? Who might he want you to encourage? What ways might he want to use you this Sunday? What would the journey ahead look like for you if you were diligently committed to helping your fellow believers up the mountain?
May God use you greatly.