Last night I spent some time with some men from our church who are helping to lead small groups. As I was meeting with them it really hit me that all of them were basically shepherding little house churches throughout the week. They each have the pressures of their jobs and the normal challenges of life that can pull you down. On top of this they have stepped out to pour into the people in their small group and be a shepherd leader to them.
In Hebrews 10:25 it says,
'Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.'
I found that our meeting together was full of encouragement. As we shared, laughed, prayed and dreamed of what God might do in our groups, I think we all left with more courage to not give up and to not settle for less than God's best for ourselves and the people we lead. I have found that when I don't meet together with other like-minded believers, I begin to lose courage and I start retreating into a very 'me-centered' and 'comfort-driven' vs 'Christ-driven' life. Left to myself I become ineffective for the work of God's kingdom. So let's continue to gather together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, breathing life and hope into one another so that we can each finish the race that God has for us.