The ministry of encouragement

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
The need for encouragement can come from a myriad of reasons. What makes one person depressed, despondent, and discouraged may not affect another person in the same manner. A second person might have learned to shake it off, laugh about it, or simply keep on going through or around the issue. The same is true for helping to dispel discouragement in ourselves and in others. Different strokes for different folks. In a large church, or gathering of any group of people, statistics prove there are depressed people. People who are unhappy due to very real or perceived problems, needs, and issues cannot do their best work, perform to the highest standards, or enjoy life.

Discouragement is not a laughing matter. It is a very real problem and must be dealt with in love, common sense, and at times, by medical professionals.

One of the duties of genuine Christian people is to be an encourager and to help people with whom they come into contact. I have been attending a seminar on The Ministry of Encouragement taught by Dr. Harry Mills of Pinellas Park, Florida, and have been reminded once again of the importance of helping others through encouragement.

Roman’s 15:1-4 teaches that those who are mature Christians must be willing to encourage new and weaker believers. This is a stern admonition to be an encourager to others. It is for all of us. The principle meaning of “edification” in these verses is to encourage spiritual growth and maturity.

Jesus is the perfect model of an encourager. We are wise to follow his example. The Scripture carefully records accounts for us where Jesus encouraged his disciples.

There are intentional and creative steps to be taken in the encouragement ministry. If we honestly have a desire to encourage others, we must seriously and thoughtfully consider what we are going to say before we say it. We should not go overboard with inordinate excesses or cliches that could likely be interpreted as frivolous or insincere. People recognize genuine love and concern.

Say something you would want said to you and make it personal, heart-felt, sincere. Abstain from making a spectacle of the opportunity to encourage and build up one who is hurting. Whether your action is verbal or written, make your thoughts personal. Encourage others when the Holy Spirit prompts or nudges you to do so. Timing is very important in what and how you say what is in your heart. Watch for helpful opportunities and do not them pass.

We have learned in our seminar that Christians are indeed called by God, and instructed clearly in Scripture, to be encouragers. It is a good and right thing to do. We are conduits for God’s desire to show praise snd commendation for good works and righteousness. God works through us to accomplish this ministry.

We plan to continue this brief study of The Ministry of Encouragement.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or
[email protected]


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