Mutual Encouragement

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 1:11-15

I am longing to see you . . . so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (vv. 11–12)

The pastor felt discouraged. He had been preaching for years, but he wasn’t sure whether anything he had said or done had impacted anyone. Did his parishioners really feel the full power and joy of salvation in Jesus?

Preachers can get that way sometimes. They wonder, Am I really making a difference in the lives of people, or am I just marking time until I retire? Even the apostle Paul worried whether he was running and laboring in vain (see Philippians 2:14-16).

Paul hopes soon to head to Spain to evangelize new fields, and he intends to visit the church in Rome on the way. His goal is to strengthen the Roman believers in the faith, but he also hopes to be encouraged by their faith and to benefit from the exercise of their spiritual gifts.

Nothing buoys the heart of a preacher more than to hear that his or her ministry has helped people to grow in faith and obedience. Nothing is more encouraging than knowing you’ve helped kindle in someone a desire to live for Christ. Let your pastor know how your faith has grown. Give a call or write a note today.


Lord, I thank you for my pastor. Help me to be an encouragement to those who serve in Christ’s name. Amen.