Although I never used to think of myself as an encourager, it seemed to come naturally to me. I have a need in my heart to lift the spirits of anyone who looks lonely, or shy or left out or just tired. Maybe that’s because most of my life I felt all of those things, and wished someone would notice me and care enough to talk with me. Once I noticed that encouragement would just pop out of my mouth, before I really thought about it, I realized that this was a gift from God, and I should use it. So the last two years, I have been purposely encouraging others. This gives me joy, and it brings smiles to others, and gets them to talk about their life, their ministry, or their prayer needs.
So, if you want to be more of an encourager, here are some of the ways I purposely encourage others:
1) Talk to them — I say “hello” and introduce myself. I stop and give them a compliment, “I like your sweater. It’s so bright and like springtime.” or “That’s an awesome cross you are wearing.” Ask them questions like “Have you been here before?” “Do you have family that attends this church?”
2) Show interest — “I saw in the church newsletter that you are involved in the prayer ministry. I am so glad you are doing that. It is such an important ministry.” “I heard you are going to be helping at VBS this year. What will you be doing? Have you worked at VBS before?”
3) Donate — “I really think this ministry you are doing is so useful. I don’t have the time to get involved, but I would like to give you this donation of $5.”
4) Give a small gift — “I just want to welcome you to this ladies’ Bible study, since you are new to the group. Here is a small gift, just to say I am glad you are here.” “It was so nice of you to let this Bible study group meet in your home. I want to give you this small gift just to say thanks.” (I pick up small gifts that cost $5 or less so I can give them to new people, or to say thanks. It can be a small book, or a candle or candle holder with a word like Peace or Prayer or Love on it. It can be a magnet with a Bible verse on it. I usually put it in a gift bag, so it looks very festive.)
5) Send a card — I send a card in the mail, or an e-card online, with a short note telling them “I am praying for you”, or “I have been thinking about you. I hope you are feeling better.”, or “I appreciate you for taking the time to do your ministry with the food pantry. I know it takes a lot of time and effort, but it helps so many people.”
6) Pray for them — “I have been praying for you and your family. I hope things will get better soon.”
7) Give them a hug — If you know them. Offer to give them a hug, or ask if they would give you a hug. Or you can do a “high five” if you prefer, or just a touch on their arm and say “It’s good to see you here.” or “I’m glad you’re here tonight.”
After reading this list of ways to encourage others, you may realize that you have already been an encourager and didn’t realize it! If so, then you may have the gift of encouragement. If that is the case, go out and look for people to encourage! Encouragement is always welcome. It makes people smile. It gets them to talk. It makes them feel needed or special. A simple encouragement can put a person in a better mood for the rest of the day! Even people who are very involved with their church or several ministries, still need encouragement. I don’t think there is any person in the world, who doesn’t enjoy getting encouraged! Even I like to be encouraged myself, so leave me a comment below or click “Like”. It will make my day!