Do you know what I have been observing about churches that are growing and those that are stagnant? The churches where people can come and be encouraged are growing. This notion might seem like is is sappy and watered down but let’s think about it according to Scripture.
Recently I have read Acts 13-19 closely. Look how many times Paul is encouraging the believers at the different churches. That seems biblical to me.
In Colossians we are told that our language needs to be full of grace and seasoned with salt. People who talk to others in gracious terms are connecting much more than those talking down to others. The recent book Unchristian has recent evidence pointing to the fact that unbelievers are no longer impressed by propositional thinking.
Both people inside the church and outside the church need genuine encouragement. Only grace from the Lord Jesus can truly encourage other people. But I believe that we as humans have to be able to connect with people emotionally if we are to gain a hearing.
Back at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, my professor of spiritual formation shared with us that if we want to be an effective minister in the day and age which we live, then we need to be encouragers of people. We live in a discouraged world. The next time you are waiting in line for anything, take a look around and look at the faces of people when they are not looking at you. There is usually a good bit of discouragement surrounding you.
With the biblical evidence in front of us and the visible evidence as well, won’t you take time to start being an encourager? For those of you who may say, that’s not me. Well, then it might be time to change if you are going to be an obedient follower of Christ. If you are already an encourager, don’t be discouraged because you will reap what you sow in an abundant harvest.
God, please let us all be encouragers to those both inside the church and outside the church. May your light shine through us as we connect with people in short, medium, and long encounters. Thank you Lord for being our “Great Encourager through your Holy Spirit.