A ministry of encouragement (Ch 8 “Spiritual Mothering”)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Read-Chat-Live _ Spiritual MotheringThe right foundation
An important aspect of spiritual mothering is encouragement. Don’t try to equip without it. Preaching doctrine outside an atmosphere of love and encouragement comes across cold and impersonal.

But it’s not always easy. Susan Hunt states early in Chapter 8 that encouraging others is no exercise in fluff. It’s hard work, and it is possible only by being grounded on the truths of scripture.

The foundation? The good news of Jesus Christ. Because he reconciled us to him, we have confidence to enter into his presence. And from that position, we’re more effective in helping others also move closer to him.

The closer we get to God and the tighter we hold to the hope we have in Him, the more we are able to encourage and equip others to a life of love and good deeds.

Be “with”
Encouraging others doesn’t just happen though. It requires thought and planning, and walking with the Master Encourager, learning from him.

And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.
Mark 3:14

There is more to teaching than simply conveying content. Jesus didn’t send his apostles to class or hand them a textbook to memorize; he invited them to be with him, to learn not only by his words, but by his example. He didn’t want them to just think like him, but to be like him.

So with mentoring. “Being with a spiritual mother who reflects Christ will encourage and equip a young woman to be like Him.”

Be together, with each other.

Just say it
The Greek word for encouragement, parakaleo, means “called to one’s aide, or called alongside.” Women are equipped with nurturing instincts and helpmate qualities to naturally assume the role of coming alongside each other to support and embolden others.

Yet it is still her conscious choice to create an atmosphere of encouragement. Placing her own confidence in Christ will propel her to action. Often women do not encourage or mentor others because they fear they might fail, or be rejected, or be criticized.

But recalling how God provides safety for her, she can step out of her own cave to be that safe place for other women. 

Serving others is one way to begin. Give a hug; help a young mom with her child; send a card. Be active.

With service comes more openings for deeper relationship, where even more meaningful encouragement can occur. The more they know each other’s needs and strengths, the more skilled they become in calling each other out to greater ministry.

Walking alongside each other, they fulfill a common purpose using individual gifts. Mutually encouraging each other to use their gifts brings glory to the Father in ways they might not have done on their own.

Encourage: come along beside. I think I can do that.

Summary of previous chapters
Discussion on Chapter 8
Next week: Ch 9, “The Power of Acceptance

1 comment:

Jamie said...

"Walking alongside each other, they fulfill a common purpose using individual gifts. Mutually encouraging each other to use their gifts brings glory to the Father in ways they might not have done on their own."

I LOVE this! It's so true. We do have our own gifts but sometimes introverts like myself need some encouragements to come alongside others and use my gifts to His glory!

Thanks for your thoughts!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails