When I was a young Christian, I wanted to be a good one. I had a godly pastor whom I respected, but it seemed to me that he never had enough time for me. Not as much time as I’d like, anyway. There was a good reason: He had 300 other families to care for, not to mention his own family.
However, I found myself wishing, “Wouldn’t it be great to have my own minister, like Micah in Judges 17? My personal minister could be dedicated to helping me to be all God intends.” Years later I found out that is exactly God’s plan. The minister He gave to me is Kit. And I’m to be Kit’s minister. We do so, not by preaching to each other, but by encouraging each other.
Sometimes we confuse encouragement with exhortation. A “You can do it! I know you can!” pep talk is a form of exhortation. Biblical encouragement is praising a godly quality, or a job well done. One key to effective encouragement is to be specific. “You organized that event well. Those were good insights you shared. I really appreciate your sensitivity. Your service to others expresses God’s love.” Word pictures can be very effective, such as “You’re as dependable as the sunrise.”
Genuine encouragement motivates us to do even better. If we truly want to minister in others’ lives, we should learn to be great encouragers.
Therefore encourage one another, and build up each another, just as in fact you are doing. Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)