“…Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…”
The bible is filled with Scriptures urging believers to build up and encourage one another in their faith. The word for ‘stir up’ in the above scripture has this sense of ‘provoking’ one another, kind of like someone might provoke, or distract a dog from growling to go fetch a bone or jump up on their lap. This ‘provoke’ is a redirection of someones energy onto things more uplifting and positive.
We all have moments where we feel deflated and tired, but how pleasing is it to receive an encouraging word or pat on the back and have our thoughts redirected towards something positive. Wouldn’t it be great to be apart of a team who’s focus and culture when we gather is to redirect one another’s focus towards ‘love and good works?’
Like a boutique of flowers, I appreciate the injection of life and colour into my life, particularly in hard times but even on ordinary days when it is unexpected. So it is with this in mind that I’d love to stoke the flames of encouragement amongst our team. Imagine across all campuses, all services, and all ages a team who regularly gave good and true encouragement.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”
1 Thess 5:11
Imagine with me that you are leading a service on your instrument or with your voice, baring everything you have for the sake of that service, to then have someone on our team run up to you with an encouraging word on how your leadership led them into God’s presence that day. That would be super encouraging right? and We’d all appreciate that kind of support right?
So, let’s take a step back now and think less about what we could receive, and more about what we could give. This is a biblical approach to life and ministry, thinking of others. And of course it should be the approach of our team!
I had a little think and came up with some of the excuses we like to give ourselves to let us off the hook from giving a word of encouragement, maybe you’ve had these thoughts before?
- the person will get a big head
- they’re doing what I wish I was doing so I can’t encourage them
- they already know that they’re good, they don’t need to hear it from me
- no one cares about my opinion anywaysI don’t really know them well enough
These excuses are simply not good enough to stop us from ‘stirring up’ and encouraging one another. So here’s some great reasons why we should encourage one another:
– everyone needs the gift of encouragement
– encouragement opens a door to relationship
– it builds a culture of confidence and security on our team
– opens up a two way street for hearing encouragement back
I believe there is something powerful when encouragement is not withheld, but rather open and active like a river streaming out. Let’s take up the call to be a team of creatives focused on building up and encouraging one another onto God’s purpose for our lives.
I’ll close with some points on how encouragement can be delivered, you may have heard these before:
- – be specific
- be genuine and true
- focus less on the act/deed and more on who they are (not just ‘great singing,’ but rather
- ‘thanks for your leadership’)
- Hi-5’s and pats on the back count!
- Don’t leave it till a later time, if you think it, say it!