The spiritual gift of encouragement is more than cheerleading or advice giving. It’s one of those essential spiritual gifts that people don’t tend to notice they need until they get it.
This gift is very important especially to spiritual leadership, which can become very lonely and emotionally draining. Many people go to their pastors, leaders, and elders to get advice and lay their burdens out for them. Yet few people remember that these leaders also need encouragement themselves. This is where people with this gift come in.
Those with this gift are also usually very good talent scouts. They’re able see the raw, unformed God-potential in others. They can see the giftings and callings hidden within some of the most unlikely people and help motivate them bringing maturity in the faith and ministry to the surface.
The overall effect that this encouragement has on both veteran and emerging leaders alike is the feeling of being cared for and supported. Their spirits are lifted. They feel energized and hopeful, able to move forward in their lives and callings.
I think I have the spiritual gift of encouragement and it’s this gift that’s now a dominant influence in my life. When I turned 60 I started to think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I asked myself: When do I feel most energized in the ministry? What is it I’m doing when I feel most alive? When am I most aware that I’m doing what I’ve been created for? That was actually easy to answer. It was when I’m sitting with another pastor and I can see by the look of relief on his or her face that they feel understood and cared for. Or when I’m with a group of greenhorns sharing insights accrued from years of frontline ministry and there they are like sponges soaking it all in. It’s this spiritual energy and life that has given birth to the Main & Plain.
Only this past month I sat with a group of young leaders from a Vineyard church in Virginia and interacted with them about lasting as servant leaders over the long haul. I brought the prudence and experience and they brought the creativity and enthusiasm to the conversation, a great combination. Char and I also met with a couple that in the course of helping plant and lead a church here in the city have become casualties of the disappointment and heartache that unfortunately often accompany ministry. As we listened to their story and offered encouragement and care you could visibly see stress lift off of them. It was like healing balm. By the end of the evening there was a spark of hopefulness in their eyes. This keeps happening over and over. It’s a big part of what the Main & Plain is about.
To help make this happen the Main & Plain relies on the financial support of individuals and churches. It’s easy to become one of our financial partners. Just click ‘partner with us’ on the top of Main & Plain homepage and follow the simple instructions. You can also send your checks by mail to:
Main & Plain
7106 Bennett Court
Brooklyn, NY 11209
All donations are tax deductable
Please pray that God would continue to give us the opportunity and ability to encourage, care for and equip pastors and leaders.
In His Service