“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Long ago (1990) and in a universe far, far away (Camp Hemlock Overlook, Va.) I walked with Christ on Women’s Rainbow Via de Cristo #21 where I sat at the table of Deborah. Years later someone asked what I received on that weekend that I would most like to pass along.
I thought long and hard and I can boil it down to one word: encouragement. A VDC weekend is probably the only place in the world where all you have to do to get a round of applause is stand up and state your name! It’s a place where virtual strangers (who quickly become sisters in Christ) will hug you. On a VDC weekend, people really listen to what you have to say and they don’t judge you. They pray for you and with you. It’s a place that feels safe, and very, very, encouraging.
Here’s the best part: the weekend happens only once, but you can pass it on by giving someone else that great feeling of encouragement EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of your life. Encouragement is listed as one of the spiritual gifts that build up the Church, and every one of us can prac-tice it. Here are just a few suggestions:
- Send a birthday card
- Write a thank you note
- Give a pat on the back –“great job!”
- Hug someone
- Bake/cook someone’s favorite
- Say “I love you”
- Help someone with a job or project — before they ask
- Ask someone to pray for you (yes, that is encouraging, because it shows you trust them)
- Listen, really listen when someone shares with you
- Pass along a book you found helpful/interesting/inspiring
Well, you get the idea. It’s not very hard. It won’t cost you much. And it can change somebody’s day, maybe even their life. It may change your life as well. Give it a try. Go out and pass it on. That’s what good leaders do.