A reading for Wednesday, July 29, 2020: Acts 15: 22-35.

"Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers."

Yesterday, we talked about the trust presbyterians place in our elders (presbuteros) to rule and govern the church. Today, we see the rest of the presbyterian story with the connectional church.

The council at Jerusalem sent Paul and Barnabas back to the Gentiles, but sent with them other elders and apostles to encourage the early believers and to give them careful instructions about the faithful life. The report from Luke, written in Acts, is that the early church was strengthened and encouraged by the visit of the larger council representatives.

Today we do the same with our presbytery system. Pastors and elders from the larger church often interact with connected congregations at times of struggle, pastoral transition, and even in celebration. Our churches are not alone in their work for the Lord Jesus Christ, but are surrounded by the larger council of churches to help encourage and strengthen them.

We call this our connectional system as Presbyterians. Thanks be to God!


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