Small Church on a Big Mission: Being a Barnabas-like Encourager (2 of 6)

In my first blog about Small Church on a Big Mission: Cultivating Missional Discipleship in smaller churches I shared that this book is somewhat a journal of discovery. In the midst of this journey, I am celebrating the blessings of being small while engaging in the Big Mission of revealing the Kingdom of God.

I celebrate that over the last decade I have been blessed to journey with a diverse group of Christ-followers from vastly different traditions as I have witnessed God speaking through the Holy Spirit into my life. I am growing and learning more and more every day how much my Father loves me and that God desires the very best for me. Specifically, I am growing and being more obedient in engaging the persons of peace that are presented to me. In doing so, I have been invited to go to the very ends of the earth where I have experienced God and been blessed beyond my wildest expectations. This journey has been an adventure—an amazing and blessed adventure of a lifetime.

A Picture of Journeying with Others

In January 2016, I was invited to be with a group of 3DM leaders gathered from around the country for a four-day summit. This was a place I had never been with several people I was meeting for the first time.

As a part of the gathering, I was provided an envelope that contained a single index card. On the card was written the name of one person who was present at the summit. We were invited to pray for the person whose name was on the card and encouraged to jot down words of encouragement, scripture passages, or pictures that came to mind related to this person. At the end of the time together, the cards were turned in and provided to the person whose name was written on the card.

The card that was returned to me at the end of the summit shared the following:

“It’s been a joy to hear some of your story. I’m proud of you! I got a picture of you coming to a trailhead climbing a mountain. You went left while others went right. Your trail was narrow, and few walked on it. It was harder and longer but the views were far superior. You saw no one climbing or returning. But when you got back to where the trail split, people were looking at you. They had lots of questions on what it was like and what you saw. Most wouldn’t go after hearing about it, but some would go if you lead them.”

Every time I read the words on the card, I am brought to tears as I consider the presence, love, and grace of God demonstrated to me throughout the difficult and formative years of the journey. I also remember that there are many steps of faith that lie around every corner in the journey. Most importantly, this picture has clarified and helped me to see the journey that God has in store for me - A journey of walking alongside others as a Barnabas-like encourager.

God, may I continue to take faith-FULL steps as I walk alongside others that bring glory and honor to your name. Amen.

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