Summary: An inspiration to both individuals & congregations to cultivate a CULTURE of ENCOURAGEMENT – enabling it to become part of your DNA, woven into your values & day to day lifestyle. This sermon will encourage you to be generous, lavish, extravagant with
Title: UNLEASHING THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Pastor Dan Harman (Victory Church Portsmouth, ENGLAND)
Definition: Encouragement = the act of giving hope or support that inspires confidence & a will to keep on keeping on.
Aim: to INSPIRE you as individuals & as a congregation to cultivate a CULTURE of ENCOURAGEMENT – part of your DNA, woven into your values & day to day lifestyle. Encourage you to be generous, lavish, extravagant with your encouragement! Understand the GREAT POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Intro: FUNNY STORY - THE SLEEPY SON
A mother watched her son begin to drain of energy as the week went on. By the end of the week he’d lost his desire to get out of bed. She heard the alarm go off through his bedroom door. Apparently he just kept punching the little snooze button on the top. Finally, after 3 or 4 extra rings she walked in and said, ’Son, it’s time to get up.’ He peeked out from under the covers, ’Can you give me a good reason to get up?’ She said, ’Yes. First, it’s Sunday - time for church. Second, you’re 43 years old and you know better. Third, you’re the pastor and they expect you to be there.’
WE ALL NEED ENCOURAGEMENT – EVEN PASTORS & LEADERS HAVE TIMES OF ‘BURN OUT’
ENCOURAGEMENT has great Power to strengthen & spur others on - motivate & regenerate. Encouragement has the capacity to EMPOWER, ENRICH, ENERGIZE, EDIFY, ELEVATE, cause others to EXCEL & EXCEED their limitations! It can bring emotional healing & restore hope.
Key Verse: ‘…encourage one another and build each other up…’
1 Thessalonians 5v11 (NIV)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4v29 (NLT)
Q.) Is ENCOURAGEMENT regularly part of your conversation& actions??
We have a divine ‘calling’ to exercise & express encouragement to those around us.
STORY OF MAN IN BAHAMAS
One day a man holidaying in the Bahamas noticed a big crowd gathered at the end of the pier. As he got closer he observed someone preparing for a solo journey around the world in a tiny homemade boat. Without exception everybody was telling him all the things that could go wrong. Suddenly the man felt an IRRESISTABLE URGE to offer some encouragement. So as the little boat drifted toward the horizon he began jumping up and down shouting, ‘Go for it! You can make it! We’re proud of you!’
This man had what we need more of – the gift of encouragement. We need fewer critics and more CHEERLEADERS: those who see over the heads of the nay-sayers and shout to someone launching out in faith ‘Go for it! You can make it! We’re proud of you!’
Aren’t you glad certain visionaries refused to listen to the crowd on the pier? That: a) Luther refused to back down b) Michelangelo kept painting c) Lindbergh kept flying d) Papa Ten Boom said ‘Yes’ to frightened Jews.
Soloman writes ‘…How delightful is a timely word.’ Proverbs 15v23 – Give Personal Testimony about ‘Defining moment’ Encouraging Prophetic word that was ENGRAVED on my heart & changed my life!
Q.) Is there someone you know who needs encouragement?
- A PRISONER trying to stay strong in a hostile environment, while repaying his debt to society?
- A divorcee trying to rebuild their life? A breadwinner who’s out of work, worried about their family?
- A WIDOW who needs companionship? A servant of God labouring in an obscure & difficult ministry?
- A church LEADER who you see bearing a heavy load? Someone you know who is struggling in their faith? Someone who is discouraged or grieving the loss of a loved one?
EVERYONE IS STRUGGLING WITH SOMETHING – SO EVERYONE NEEDS ENCOURAGEMENT! Popular Scottish Theologian, William Barclay writes, ’One of the highest of human duties is the DUTY OF ENCOURAGEMENT...it is easy to laugh at men’s ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of such discouragers. But we have a duty & a ‘DIVINE CALLING’ to encourage one another. Many a time a P.A.T on the back; a word of Praise, Appreciation or Thanks, has kept a man on his feet.
Paul writes: ’...Outside, trouble was on every hand...within us, our hearts were full of dread and fear. Then God who cheers those who are discouraged refreshed us by the arrival of Titus. Not only was his presence a joy, but also the news that he brought...’ (2 Corinthians 7:5-7 TLB). God wants us to have that same ‘Titus Effect’.