“Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Heb. 3:13)
Each year ELCC has an anonymous online survey for our members. If you ever want to know what someone really thinks of you, host an anonymous survey. Our survey was, as usual, largely positive but I was especially encouraged by one comment:
I want to be clear that ELCC is one of the BEST co-ops I've been part of and I've sampled a NUMBER of co-ops over a number of years and left dissatisfied for all sorts of reasons... I have felt welcomed with open arms in this co-op.... ELCC does so much to foster community and fellowship and it's work that is well worth it and reflects in the great, supportive community that can be found here.... ELCC does so much to help moms at co-op - from the resource library, helping co-op moms in need, meals, prayer support and so much more.... I feel like with the board at ELCC there is a whole group of people actively working to make ELCC the best co-op it can be. And it doesn't feel like the board has a "monopoly" on running things, but that rules are considered and well thought out for everyone's benefit, not just for the benefit of board members. In addition, the board and leadership are highly accessible and always have time to answer questions and address concerns.... I like that ELCC has a nice balance of both kinds of classes so every family can find just what they are missing at home. I love that ELCC builds in opportunities to serve the larger community needs. I love the monthly community lunches where we can spend time breaking shared bread together. I love that high moral standards are adhered to and my child will be largely in a safe environment with a shared value system.... I like that this co-op seems reasonable and flexible about policies and practices, rather than rigid - not strictly following the letter of the law, but instead the spirit of the law. I love that there are so many godly mothers that wholeheartedly serve in this co-op community and it is truly reflected here. I love that so many of the fathers are highly visible at co-op, praise God! There is nothing that warms my heart more than to see fathers committed to this endeavor and being visible week after week. Please thank these faithful, serving men. Their support and visible leadership can only make this co-op even better. I'm thankful for such a dedicated Board that surely works tirelessly behind the scenes to make this co-op exceptional in every possible way. I am also so blessed by such a vision that is cast upon this co-op....Thank you so much! Keep up the good work!
I was in tears reading this comment. I felt so appreciated, so very loved. I felt like I feel when my kids finally realize it's me whose been cleaning up the house and say "Thank you Mom!" It was gratifying and humbling to receive such high praise. It made me feel valued and appreciated, like "Finally, someone sees what all this is for!"
In studying God's word I am seeing how vital encouragement is, and how it is so important God explicitly tells us to encourage one another!
Jesus is our example in John where he explains to the disciples "in this world you will have trouble" but the very next verse (John 16:33) He says "Take heart, I have overcome the world!"
Far too often we hear or read something along the lines of "there's trouble" but rarely has the next line been encouraging. More than likely the next line is gossip or bitterness, the exact opposite of encouragement.
The New Testament reveals that encouragement was a regular part of the early church’s life together (Acts 13:15, 16:40, 18:27, 20:1-2, 27:36). They shared Scripture-saturated words with each other to spur one another on in faith (Acts 14:22), hope (Rom. 15:4), unity (Rom. 15:5; Col. 2:2), joy (Acts 15:31), strength (Acts 15:32), fruitfulness (Heb. 10:24-25), faithfulness (1 Thess. 2:12), perseverance (Heb. 10:25), and the certainty of Christ’s return (1 Thess. 4:18).