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Well I think there’s two interrelated things that have to be in place. One is you have to have a culture, a climate, where helping each other is part of what’s expected. Part of building that culture, of course, is preaching and spending time on the “see to it brethren that there not be anyone among you with an evil heart of unbelief, that falls away from the living God, but encourage one another day after day.” For me what’s been really important in terms of preaching is not only the biblical admonitions to perseverance, but the way that the one another passages fit in with perseverance. We need each other to persevere in the faith. We are means of grace to each other. I think that’s one of the ways that the climate is built.
Then you have to actually put real tools into people’s hands. You can’t just say, this is what you’ve got to be doing and then let them figure it out on their own in a sense. You get some people that are going to gravitate towards that and figure it out on their own, but by and large you’re going to need to be equipping. So everything from the smallest things, like having a book room that’s stocked with books that are designed, so good biblical counseling books for instance. Seeing it modeled. Hearing it taught. Then taking specific opportunities to equip. I think the climate and then the particular equipping are actually two things that come together that help.
God has blessed us with a congregation that really loves each other. There’s really a sense of family. It’s not like we’re a tiny congregation, we’re not a mega church either, but we’re not a tiny congregation so it takes a little bit of work to be involved in people’s lives. I think that having that, in a sense, that biblical undergirding of “look we’re in this together and I’m going to help you and you’re going to help me.”