Encouragement for Today - Dec. 19, 2007



December 19, 2007


Helping Siblings Serve Together

By Glynnis Whitwer


“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’” Matthew 4:18-19 (NIV)



Is it a coincidence that the first four disciples Jesus called to follow Him were two sets of brothers? Based on God’s intentionality throughout Scripture, that’s highly unlikely.


It wasn’t an accidental choice to pick fishermen, and it wasn’t an accident they were brothers. Yes, Jesus knew just what He was doing when He called the sibling sets of Simon-Peter and Andrew, then James and John to join Him in His mission to teach the good news of the kingdom of God.


The New Testament tells of how these brothers, plus a small group of others, changed their world for the cause of Christ. What an amazing picture of siblings serving side-by-side: powerful, effective and loving. Perhaps there was an extra dose of confidence knowing a brother was there to protect your back. Maybe Jesus wanted to show others that joining God’s family meant you could have hundreds of brothers and sisters just as wonderful as Peter and Andrew, or James and John.


Today it’s rare to see siblings serving alongside each other, either in church or in a ministry outside of church. Parents often focus on allowing each child to explore his or her individual gifts and talents through service – which is a good thing. Then as brothers and sisters grow up, their lives take them away from each other. But what might happen if we initiated opportunities for our children to serve together? What if we served God with our own brothers or sisters at our sides?


I think based on Jesus’ example of calling brothers, we should seriously consider how to cultivate opportunities for our families to serve hand-in-hand. It’s never too late to take on an outreach or service project as a family. Even the smallest children can do something. And most teenagers actually like getting involved in social outreach, especially if it involves someone in great need.


This holiday season, let’s look for ways for brothers and sisters to serve together. It’s a great way to be obedient to God by serving others, and perhaps it will be the start of a world-changing mission, just like it was for those first sets of brothers who walked with Jesus.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me family to enjoy life with. Please help me to understand Your heart for brothers and sisters working together. I ask for help to know how to help my children learn to serve side-by-side, and how to serve side-by-side with my own siblings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

Building the Christian Family You Never Had by Mary DeMuth


Sponsor a Child with Your Children or Your Sibling through Compassion International


Five-Star Families: Moving Yours from Good to Great by Carol Kuykendall


Do You Know Him?


Application Steps: 

Identify one service project you can do with your family. Put it on your calendar and commit as a family to following through with the project. Click here for ideas to show “love in action” together.



List some benefits when two people work on a project together.


What are some challenges you face when trying to unite your family to serve God together?


How might serving God together change the relationship between brothers and sisters?


Power Verses:

Matthew 5:23-24, "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” (NIV)


Luke 10:1, “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” (NIV)


Matthew 18:19-20, "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV)



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 19 December 2007.