By Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, October 20, 2017

Last night our family night regulars gathered around the lawn holding signs and banners and shouting encouraging words to the riders in our Bike-a-Thon. Tamara Patterson and Renee Bennett each wore the names of their “rider” across their shirts. Conner Davis bolted off the starting line with a bunch of children and youth close behind him. Each time a rider rounded another lap, our church family shouted their name, waved their arms and yelled encouragement. Will Meeks rode as the youngest competitor in the long route, challenging his fellow participants to ride harder. Girard Jones mounted a bicycle built for two placing first for the “Young-at- Heart” and “Not-so-Evil Knievel” awards. His record was immediately smashed by Jim Bruner who broke the land speed record on the church grounds on a borrowed, vintage Schwinn.

Our church family did what we are called to do. We encouraged one another: “Come On! Keep going!” I love the way that we cheer each other on. We read words of consolation and encouragement throughout scripture as the early church grew during difficult times. Consider this call to action from the book of Hebrews, “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Also, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” When we cheer each other on we accomplish more than we would alone. We need each other to speak words of truth; we need to remember just how much we need each other so that we may imitate Christ.

Our Bike-a-Thon will provide Christmas gifts and support for families through The Mentor’s project of Bibb County. The Mentor’s Project provides role models for encouragement and motivation to eligible Bibb County Public Middle and High School students who need additional support outside their family, and to assist them in reaching their full academic, social, and personal potential. Our partnership with the Mentor’s project has grown out of our Vision 20/20 Ministry Plan in which we challenged and cheered each other to actively engage our local community. This is just the beginning of our work in this community. Let’s cheer on our brothers and sisters. Keep Going!