As a church body, we are to provide an environment of encouragement for all who seek it.
What does encouragement look like in action? What does it take to be an encourager? Here are a few ideas based on Romans 12:
1. Good encouragers have to be genuine. You can't be phony. "Let love be without hypocrisy" Romans 12:9 Be genuine, be real.
2. Good encouragers are diligent. "Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
3. Good encouragers are assertive. They take initiative. "Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality." One huge miscommunication is that everybody thinks that somebody else is doing the encouraging. And while we think somebody else is doing it, no action is taken.
4. Good encouragers are selfless. They are primarily concered for others. "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Good encouragers give themselves away to others.
5. Good encouragers have a spirit of humility. "Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble." We often look to encourage others 'at our level'. May we go beyond and seek others who are different but need encouragement.
A true encourager is authentic in who he is. He's a hard worker who's assertive in reaching out to people. He's not fearful because he's selfless and primarily interested in others. He is unaffected by any sense of class-consciousness. To him, a person is a person, not matter who he might be.