I received word today that our new Director of Children’s Ministries went to visit a newborn and her family, taking a gift and making a timely visit to the whole family. I am reminded of the ministry of the church, to be involved in the lives of others; that’s called fellowship. There are days and weeks where we all have so much on our plates, and these types of opportunities for encouragement often fall through the cracks.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. (Philippians 2:1, 2)
John Maxwell once wrote that there is a difference between being a leader and being a manager. He often points out that management focuses on maintaining systems and processes, while leadership is about “influencing people to follow.” One way to cultivate such influence is quite simple: Influence involves sincerely caring about other people.
I sent hand written notes to two men who just returned from military deployments. Last week I was able to send an e-mail to someone at work who was having a birthday. Can you send a card at an appropriate time? A kind word can mean a lot. If somebody is struggling with an issue (or with life in general), simply sitting and listening can be worth more than any words that may come to mind. And don’t forget prayer, for “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16).
Encouragement isn’t just for those who know Christ; all people need to hear positive words, especially the words that tell of One who died for us so that we can have eternal life. Let’s strive to be an encouragement to all we come in contact with daily. How will you influence someone else today?