Ever wish you could have your words back? We all have. I’ve always said, “I am the sum total of what others have poured into me.” I think you are too. We have all regretted things we have said, but those moments have been fewer lately. If you look back at your story, you are more than likely where you are because someone believed in you and ENCOURAGED YOU! I’ll never forget the moment though. The moment an unnamed person told me I shouldn’t preach and he didn’t think I had the capability. He discouraged, disheartened and doubted the call I genuinely felt on my life. Then a year later, I’ll never forget meeting Pastor Larry. He believed in me. I remember it like it was yesterday. He saw in me passion and love for the Gospel. On June 23, 1996, I preached my first sermon and Pastor Larry was there all the way cheering me on. I’m glad I listened to Larry and not that other guy.
“..May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus..” Romans 15:5
Show me someone who has someone encouraging him and I will show you someone about to do incredible things for God’s kingdom. Later, there was a large men’s gathering of over 35,000 men called Promise Keepers at Autzen stadium and Larry happened to be the leader for over 2,000 volunteers. He asked me to lead 400+ ushers and to help oversee all of them. I never doubted that Pastor Larry believed in me. It was clear from day 1. He let me come to church board meetings, feel the stress of what it was like being a pastor, and he let me “cut my ministry teeth.” But what held it all together? ENCOURAGEMENT. Pastor Larry believed in me so much that as he was leaving the church for another ministry 2 years later, he introduced me to a friend of his from seminary who was a pastor. His name was Randy. So I went to work for him, and you know what, he believed in me too.
4 Ways To Be An Encourager
#1 Just Pick Someone: You just have to choose who! Who can you walk alongside of? Years ago I had a revelation while talking with Michael, who was discipling and pouring into me at the time. I felt like God said He wanted me to spend my life be an encourager of the vision He gives people. So I said yes. So now, my mission is to find people’s God giving calling and empower it through ENCOURAGEMENT. If you want to have more friends, ENCOURAGE. If you want to gain God’s perspective, ENCOURAGE. You can always tell if someone is living for their own benefit, because they withhold blessing and ENCOURAGEMENT of other people. Simply pray and choose. Chances are, the people you are supposed to encourage are right in front of you!
#2 See The Positive: I have had enough people tell me in my life what I don’t do well. How about you? I remember a teacher who never acknowledged anything I did right, but always found the error in my writings. If I want to start a fight in my marriage, all I have to do is complain or criticize my wife, STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! (That was for me). When you look at people, do you see what is wrong with them? Anyone can do that! How about becoming a catalyst for change through positive reinforcement. Maybe your father and mother always discouraged. It’s time for you to forgive and redeem the generational sin and dysfunction in your family.
#3 Use The Scriptures: One of my best practices is using scripture to encourage people. I first will ask the question, who needs to be ENCOURAGED? Then, I will ask God to give me a scripture that will edify them and build them up. Finally, I write the scripture in a card with an uplifting note and either mail it or hand deliver it to them. I do this with my kids from time to time. If card writing isn’t your thing, then verbalize your heart for people. SAY IT! Words bring life. Becoming an ENCOURAGER will deepen your prayer life and cause you to love people more and see the beauty of the diversity of His people.
#4 Remove The Splinter: I want to be careful how I say this, but some people are like poison to your soul. They constantly are criticizing and demeaning you. They are down and are looking to bring you down with them. You need to remove them from your life as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you never have people who admonish you and set you straight, and I’m not talking about getting a bunch of people who will just tell you what you want to hear. You know the difference. There are people who are not good for you. They constantly gossip, demean, slander, always talk about other people to you and it likely means they talk about you to other people. Just – say – goodbye. (And I’m NOT talking about your spouse, that is another post). You will immediately feel freed to encourage once you “remove the splinter.”
This week at 217church we look at “Faith and Words” An ENCOURAGING church WILL GROW, and we are seeing it happen. People will come in droves to hear the word and know Jesus loves and forgives! The #1 reason people say they come back to 217church is because we are a friendly, encouraging church! We actually care about the needs of people and I love this! The future for our young church is bright! Keep ENCOURAGING!
We are officially #Relaunching @217church after 6 full years of ministry. Our first Sunday services will be Sunday February 7, 2016 Don’t worry, we have regular weekend services leading up to this historic day for us as we prepare and build our teams! Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00. Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday. If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us. Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here