Encouragers are coalition builders. They are optimistic, motivating, and help others experience progress. The local church has been given this gift to help us become the people God created us to be. However, like all gifts, this gift can either be used well or be misused.
1. How does thinking about our gifts as a means to help the local church love God, love people, and make disciples impact the way you think or should think about your giftedness and others’ giftedness?
2. Tell of someone whom God has used in your life as an encourager. How have they impacted your life?
3. Share with your group how you tested concerning the gift of encouragement. What comes easy or difficult to you in the context of encouraging others?
4. Barnabas accepted John Mark even after Paul had rejected him. Has there ever been a time when someone mentored you and today you are the better for it? Share that story.
5. Who are some of the most optimistic people in your life? How does that optimism influence you?
6. Those who have the gift of encouragement often are impulsive, hyper, can seem scattered to onlookers, tend to interrupt in order to give advice, are easily distracted, etc. How does knowing these things help us understand those people or ourselves better? How does knowing that help the local church maintain unity in the face of diversity?
Keep in mind that most people don’t believe in themselves, most people have few people if any who believe in them, most people know when someone does believe in them, and most people will do anything within their power to live up to someone’s belief in them.
Write down a short list of people whom you can encourage this week and every week. Become their greatest cheerleader. Pour fuel on their ambition, believe in them, and affirm them.
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.