5 Reasons Encouragement is a Non-Negotiable

If you read any leadership book, you are likely to be encouraged to encourage the people you lead. If you have served with an encouraging leader, you know the impact the encouragement makes on the morale of the team, the focus of the people, and the commitment to one other. Here are five reasons leaders must encourage:

1. Teams can drift.

Some have defined courage as sticking to one’s core beliefs or convictions. Thus, in this regard, to encourage is to prod people to continue sticking to their core beliefs and convictions. Leaders must encourage the team they lead to stay focused on the mission and to live their collective core convictions. Without encouragement, mission drift is inevitable.

2. Disunity can fester.

Because people are different, with unique personalities and perspectives, disagreements are certain when people work alongside one another. But disagreements don’t need to degenerate into disunity. A leader who encourages the team to unite around a larger agenda proactively fights against the disunity that can fester.

3. Distractions can overwhelm.

Many have pointed out that information is increasing at a relentless pace, and those we lead are bombarded with tons of messages and a plethora of information. Without encouragement, minds are easily distracted from what is most important. Leaders must encourage those they lead to remember the sacred why behind all the work and the essential aspects of the work.

4. Work gets discouraging

While work is a gift from God, it has been marred by the fall, just like everything else in creation. God told Adam that work would be painful (Genesis 3:17). Because work can be discouraging, morale will suffer without leaders who offer encouragement.

5. Hearts grow cold.

When leaders don’t encourage those they lead, hearts grow cold. The writer of the Book of Hebrews challenged Christians to “encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” Encouragement is the antidote for a hard heart.

How can leaders be more encouraging? By first being encouraged by Christ. An encourager has an encouraged heart. If being united with Christ encourages our hearts, we will encourage others.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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