There is something about the Sydney evangelical culture that makes it very hard for us to give specific encouragement that actually encourages. The word we throw around in Christian circles is helpful.

“That was a helpful sermon.”

What the hell does that mean?

We need to get over our britishness, get some emotional intelligence about us and learn to encourage and compliment well. I have devised four steps to direct, specific encouragement

1. Choose your adjective

Step one is choosing your adjective. Make your adjective count, go over the top because that will communicate better. If you go with words like helpful, good, faithful they will encourage somewhat. But if you use words and phrases like amazing, biblically inspired, gripping it communicates more directly.

2. Be specific

    What was it about what they did that was encouraging? Tell them. You may say “I loved the way you led us in singing in church especially the way after the second song you read that passage from scripture and helped us reflect on the cross and then you led brilliantly into that new song from there.” Once again far better than how you led the singing was good or helpful

    3. What did it do to you?

    Tell them what affect what they did had on you. For example, you may say I loved your sermon or you could say “I loved your sermon because it made me consider Jesus in a new and it encouraged me greatly in overcoming a specific sin in my life.” The specificity is the thing that will make the compliment mean something because it shows how they have impacted you.

    4. Inspire them

    The final thing you want to say is something inspirational like “Man I am so looking forward to the next time you pray in church because I was so encouraged. Thanks for doing amazing job.” This rounds out the encouragement and it also is inspirational.

    As Christians we need to be encouraging and so working on this is something we should be doing. Especially if we are in leadership

    Who should you encourage at church this week?


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