Spiritual Gift of Encouragement
A Spiritual Gift Definition by AssessME.org
A person possessing the spiritual gift of encouragement has a unique ability to help others gain a positive emotional and spiritual perspective on their circumstances. Those with the gift of Encouragement are people who find the positive in any situation. For them, “the glass is always half full”. They are at their best when they can motivate the assembly of Christ Followers to persevere in the struggle against sin and to strive to accomplish God’s mission for the Church. The word Encouragement means “to instill courage into another person”.
Romans 12:8 and Hebrews 10:24, 25 instructs all Christ Followers to “encourage one another”. This spiritual gift of encouragement is clearly exemplified in the life of a man named Joseph. Joseph is first mentioned in Acts 4:36 and 37. In this account we learn that Joseph sold all that he had and laid the money at the feet of the Apostles. From that time on, Joseph’s name was changed to “Barnabas” which means “Son of Encouragement”. In Acts 9:26 and 27 we learn that when all the disciples were afraid of Paul (Saul) and questioned whether his conversion was real, it was Barnabas that risked his own life to visit Paul and to introduce him to the body of believers. In Acts 13, the Holy Spirit instructed the Church at Antioch to set apart Paul and Banabus for a special missionary work…and so Barnabas became Paul’s ministry partner.
Following Barnabas’ example, we identify three major ways in which the gift of Encouragement may express itself within the Church. Your personality style and calling from the Holy Spirit may enable you to focus on the following gift expressions.
Sacrificing Self for Welfare of Others
Barnabus sold all he had for the welfare of others within the Church. Encouragement is best received by others when the encourager will not receive any personal benefit from the encouragement offered. There are many hurt and damaged people in this sinful world. They have been “used and abused”. Their level of trust in others is minimal. Sacrificial encouragement can help restore and heal. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate gift expression checkbox.
Serving Ministry Leadership
Leadership is lonely and emotionally draining. Typically, people seek to receive from the ministry leader, but very few seek to minister to the ministry leader. Encouragers are essential to the success of any ministry leader. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate gift expression checkbox.
Supporting Risky Ministry Ventures
New ministry ventures are risky. Often people attempting to begin a new church, ministry or mission have critical “voices” in their life. In addition, doubt and fear of failure naturally lingers in their minds. New Ministry Developers need to be reminded that God is in control, and that nothing that is of God will ever fail. There is no greater encouragement to the New Ministry Developer than when the “Encourager” gets personally involved and “takes the risk” with everyone else. After all, the Encourager possesses significant confidence in the nature and purposes of God. Like Barnabus, Encouragers can often take the risks that others are afraid to take. If you feel led by God to serve others in this manner, please select the appropriate gift expression checkbox.