Encouragement changes the course and trajectory of men’s lives.
Qualities of an Encourager
I commend Jim Akers’ short article; 5 Qualities You Need to Be a Great Encourager.
In his article, Aker’s puts having a genuine heart for people at the top of his list. I completely agree. Men see through ‘transactional leaders’, those who give an ‘atta boy’ if there’s been success in a ‘transaction’- like a football coach who praises a player when they score a game winning touchdown, but cares very little about the player in personal crisis. Men respond to leaders who demonstrate sincere care and concern. How many of us have experienced progress in the faith because of the encouragement of others? I know I have. I’ll bet the same is true for you.
Giving Grace with Your Words
Garrett Kell’s article; Encourage One Another: Giving Grace with Your Words, is another short, but profitable read. Kell emphasizes the importance of prayer and Scripture as primary means to becoming a great encourager. I’ve noticed a strong correlation between my own devotional habits and my ability to encourage others. As I pray and reflect deeply on Scripture, it’s uncanny how many times God provides an opportunity to share an insight with a man who really needed the encouragement from my own devotional reading.
Key Ingredients to Excelling as an Encourager
Jared Musgrove identifies courage as one of the key ingredients to excelling as an encourager.
Obviously, there’s a link between courage and being an encourager, since ‘placing courage within’ is what encouragement’s all about. But Musgrove’s focuses on the courage an encourager needs. He describes the courage it takes to see the gap between God’s potential in another person’s life and their current reality. Then, having the courage and skill to call them to a higher calling. It takes courage to look another man in the eye and express confidence in their ability, by God’s Spirit, to change a habit, put away and angry temper, or a pursue a noble course. As an encourager, we make ‘courage deposits’ in others.
The Power of Encouragement
In The Power of Encouragement, Dr. Tim Allchin observes that because ‘we live in a culture of soundbites and sarcasm, the power of an authentic encouraging word has never been greater’. I’m 100% in agreement.
In summary, if you answer the call to be a Covenant group leader, you’re answering the call to be an encourager. It starts with brotherly love—a genuine concern for others. Then, as we understand the power of God’s Word and prayer and hone our relationship skills, we improve our ability inspire others—to place courage for their abilities to live for God. It takes courage to step out of our comfort zones, but the joy of witnessing life transformation in others is worth the investment. We live in an age when men desperately need encouragement. Are you up to the task?