If there’s one thing that the church and the world can agree upon it’s the idea that team work is a good thing. We understand idioms like “United we stand, divided we fall” and “Many hands make light work.” But there’s more to this than getting the job done; there’s a mindset that goes along with it.
Many of the jobs we have to do, whether it’s at our workplaces, within our homes, or even within the church, are too big for us to accomplish on our own. And when we’re faced with overwhelming task lists or monumental tasks, it’s easy to be discouraged. That’s why we need to motivate each other.
Let’s face it: the task of the church to go into the whole world and make disciples of all people is a huge task. Perhaps that’s why so many people are discouraged about discipleship and evangelism. Even when we look at “smaller” tasks within the scope of discipleship–taking care of widows and orphans, feeding the hungry, teaching everything that Jesus taught, etc.–we find ourselves to be overwhelmed. God offers us encouragement in Hebrews 10:24 where it is written: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (NLT).
Not only does God expect us to do these things, but he wants us to encourage each other to do these things. Not only should we be working together, but we should be encouraging each other to work together. There could be many reasons why individuals don’t do what God calls us all to do: fear of rejection or resistance, fatigue, confusion, lack of knowledge or skills, even laziness. Regardless of the reasons, God calls us to motivate each other to do acts of love and other good works.
Frankly, we ought to assume a position that won’t take “no” for an answer. The NIV translates this verse to say that we should “spur one another on,” and the KJV says we ought to “provoke” one another. Perhaps what we need, in a more modern context, is a figurative kick in the seat of the pants or whack on the side of the head. There’s a lot of work to be done, both within the church’s programs and outside our walls. If you’re headed out to do the work, take someone with you. If you’re not feeling the motivation, be prepared to answer the call!