The November/December 2015 issue of Making Christ Known is now available online. Please share it with your congregation members, leaders, staff, and visitors.
Invitation / Hospitality
But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15).
This issue is the fifth in a series on the seven Faith Practices. Find previous issues here.
To encourage is to build community. This mark of discipleship is one of the seven faith practices highlighted in the ELCA-wide Call to Discipleship.
Beyond the initial actions of welcoming people into the community are the ministries of friendship and support. Encouragement is the cluster of friendly attitudes and actions that forge relationships, building a diverse set of people into a community in Christ. Jesus promises to make community with us (Matthew 18:20).
Encouragement makes it possible to cross lines of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, politics, economic class, educational level, and generation. Common social skills are transformed by the presence of the Holy One into acts of discipleship whereby the body of Christ is continually built up and strengthened for mission and ministry.