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Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

We are all invested in the same difficult work (verse 9). We all fall down sometimes (verse 10). In this cold, fallen world we would all develop spiritual hypothermia were it not for body heat (verse 11). And when that lion that the Bible warns us about, the one that wanders about seeking someone to devour, pounces we find strength in numbers (verse 12). It is a scary and intimidating thing to enter into another person’s pain, but it is is scarier and far more intimidating to invite someone into yours. One thing is for sure it is vitally important that we do.

It is true that you were made by your Creator with certain strengths and gifts, but it is also true that you were purposely designed with limitations and areas of weakness. Both are from God for your joy. You are gifted in order that you might be a blessing and a help, and you are limited in order that you might be blessed and helped. The church is intended by God as a community where we meet needs according to our strengths and have our needs met according to the strengths of others. It is in the midst of this open display of vulnerable neediness and compassionate helps that our God is made visible.

God’s Word makes it plain that we are not designed to carry our burdens alone. Burdens will crush us if we do not share them across more shoulders within the body, and I am grateful beyond words for those servants who committed themselves over the past year to receiving training that would better equip them for a ministry of help and support to others in the church. Throughout the past year a small group of people from State Road and some of our sister churches met every Wednesday morning at 5am to grapple with the hard things that people experience, and to think and strategize about how we can come alongside in a helpful way when our friends are in that place. We are hopeful that God will use these servants’ gifts and time spent being equipped to help others persevere in their calling (verse 9), help them get back on their feet after they’ve fallen (Verse 10), stay warm (verse 11) and withstand the assaults of the enemy (verse 12).

I hope you can listen in as we talk more fully about the heart behind this ministry, and as we pray for and commission these servants to fill a special role within our church family.