Stirring One Another Up
3 Ways To Build Up the Church With a Blog
The pen is mightier than the sword, they say, and indeed, “they” are right. Words have power; power to build up, or power to destroy. Proverbs 15:4 says, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Words given with grace and peace nourish the soul, but when crookedness and evil enter into those words, it breaks the spirit and tears a person down. Of course, the most extended discussion on the tongue is found in James. James compares the tongue to a small bit in the mouth of a horse and a small rudder at the rear of a massive ship. In both cases, a tiny tool steers the mighty vehicle wherever it wants it to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small member of the body, but it controls everything.
God has created us to use words. We are communicating beings because we are made in the image of God, and God is a communicating God. We have vocal chords, mouths, and tongues so that we can use words for his glory. We were created to sing words to God, to speak to him, to praise him for his awesome character and attributes.
Tragically, after the fall, we started to use our words for evil. Romans 3:13-14 describes all of humanity in this way, “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under the lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
But praise be to God, Jesus entered this world with what? He came with, “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). By words we receive the message of the gospel and are given the hope of eternal life. How can we be saved apart from words? Paul writes, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?…so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10-14, 17). We are saved by the gospel that comes to us through words. Words are powerful.
Words do not become irrelevant once we become believers. Words have incredible power to build up the church. Paul alludes to this when he writes, “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15). In other words, we are commanded to speak the truth to one another in love for the building up of the church. We need words. Words spoken and words written.
God graciously gifted humanity with intelligible language so that sounds could be transferred to symbols and written down to communicate thoughts and ideas. Because of this we are immensely blessed to have the written word of God about which David writes, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105). God’s written word sanctifies us as we use it to set our minds upon the wondrous works of God. When we encourage one another as believers, we do so from the word of God, and written words are a powerful medium for doing that.
The purpose of FBC Canyon Voices blog is to stir up one another to love and good works through thoughtful and authentic writing. It is a blog written by the people of God for the people of God. It is a means by which we will use words to, “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thess. 5:11)
FBC Canyon Voices blog will encourage growth in three areas:
1. Growth in Joyful Community
God does not save us and then call us to live our lives as individual Christians left to ourselves to survive. Rather, he saves us and gathers us into his church. We are made a part of a people; a part of Christ’s body. The church is built up together brick by brick into a holy temple in the Lord and a dwelling place for God by the Spirit (Eph. 2:21,22). We do life together. We push one another forward in the faith. We are united with one heart and one mind to accomplish one ultimate goal, which is to glorify our great God as his people in this world. This blog will serve as a means to strengthen the community of FBC Canyon. It will help us to consider truths together in a transformative fashion. It will give us opportunities to grow with one another, to love one another, and to relate by the gospel with one another with written words.
2. Growth in Joyful Character
By the power of the Holy Spirit, God is growing believers into the holy and perfect image of Christ. We grow best when we grow together. Have you ever seen those random trees that people have planted out in the middle of nowhere in West Texas? Without fail, they are ugly, frail, twisted trees that have been beat down over decades by the relentless West Texas wind. They never look healthy or beautiful. When they are planted alone they are exposed to the harsh elements of the environment—left to struggle for life. Compare that to a grouping of trees planted together around a natural spring. There still may be threatening winds, but the trees protect one another, and as they are gathered around the spring, they grow with one another into tall, strong, and healthy trees.
Much like those latter trees, we grow best spiritually when we have the protection and encouragement of other believers. We gather around the spring of life, which is Jesus, and encourage one another in the faith. We admonish one another and speak the gospel to one another to see our character transformed by the gospel. This blog is another means of building joyful character in the church. As we share our mind, heart, soul, strengths, weaknesses, joys, pains, victories, and struggles with one another in the hope of the gospel, we will grow more into the image of Christ as a church body.
3. Growth in Joyful Conversations
A culture is what it celebrates. We certainly want our church culture to be missional. God has not rescued us from our sin for us to keep silent about his glorious works. He has saved us and called us to go. We are commissioned to reach out to the lost with the hope that we all so desperately need. This blog will aid the church as we seek to grow as faithful missionaries to our own workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and communities. It will be a conversation tool meant to start other conversations. It will be a place where we can celebrate evangelism stories to build confidence and boldness in our own calling to evangelize.
May we all learn from one another as a result of this blog. May we sharpen one another as we direct others to great truths about our sovereign God. May we love one another more as we walk together in righteousness.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, take up this blog and read, to the glory of our great God, who is worthy of all honor and praise.
Brendon is Associate Pastor of Student Ministry at First Baptist Church in Canyon, TX. He has been married to his wife, Julie, for 5 years and is the father of 3 daughters, all under the age of 4. Brendon is a native of Amarillo, TX where he graduated from Amarillo High School before going on to complete his undergraduate work at Boyce College in Louisville, KY. He then went on to study at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville where he completed his Masters of Divinity. In his free time Brendon enjoys getting outdoors by hiking, backpacking, and camping. He is also passionate about beards and coffee, two of God’s glorious gifts to the world.