“When I first became a believer, there was nobody to disciple me so I...” was the same story I had heard time and again, unfortunately. New followers of Christ who have never attended church before often lack a spiritual mentor, which is understandable. But I also found that those who had been attending church, the body of Christ, neglected to gathered to instruct and encourage these new Christians.
Philip was mindful of others’ needs because he listened to the Holy Spirit’s guidance towards a man on the cusp of salvation, though he did not know it yet. Philip went over to address an obvious concern he could see upon first glance. Once Philip asked the man if he understood the passage, the man admitted his confusion. Philip took precious time out of his day to go into detail about the Gospel and how it fit in with Isaiah, then leading the man to the Lord that very day.
It's an important reminder as believers to be mindful of those around us. Is there someone struggling to find his or her place at your church? What about that regular attendee who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth? These observations and more should be noted so that we can encourage and build up believers, or even help lead unbelievers to the Lord. When we see someone struggling, we should aid them.
Even if we don’t see someone struggling, we should still approach and encourage them. Like Philip, you never know what someone is going through behind the scenes, and you just may be the voice of guidance during that tough time.
Dear Lord, please help me to be aware of others during this time. Impress upon my heart those who need encouragement or instruction, and give me the wisdom to give accurate instruction. Amen.
Go Deeper — Think about someone you have seen at church before. Whether you know them personally or not, take time before or after church to get to know them better. See what their needs are. If they’re not comfortable sharing information, pray for them and keep fellowshipping with them. Your opportunity to disciple will come.
Photo Credit: Kulli Kittus