". . . and began to encourage them all . . ." Acts 11:23
The Church is made up largely of unknown people doing significant things. While Barnabas is the only one described, there were hundreds of unnamed pioneers who were sharing the faith in unknown places. However, they were responsible for one of the greatest events in history – taking the gospel to the unreached world.
Ordinary Christians doing extraordinary things. That was the first century New Testament Church. They faithfully engaged and encouraged others to enter the kingdom of Christ. For the early Church, encouragement wasn't just a sentiment, it was a ministry. Often encouragers don't attract a lot of attention, but they always do two things in the lives of others.
Push for Progress
They are not threatened by the success of others. Nor do they fear losing their position in leadership because of the presence of others. They focus on what God is doing and could do in the other’s life. They believe less in the failures and more in the possibility of grace. The vision of grace helps them to be change agents, they do not give up on people, they pray for them and meet with them, walk through life with them, they urge them toward godliness and, when necessary, correct them.
Press on in Perseverance
Sometimes people come to disastrous ends, they bottom out in their faith. They face a time of discouragement they feel alone, tempted to make rash decisions and huge mistakes. Some fall into major sin and discover they are unequipped to face strong temptations. This is where the encourager steps in. Encouragers have a calling to help others to persevere, to remain wholeheartedly focused and faithful to Christ.
A father’s son was running a race and the father was watching the race from near the final bend before home stretch. When the son came to that spot he was not in the lead, the father cried out as loud as he could, "GO ON MY SON!" The son, recognizing his father’s voice, unleashed a new determination, the son exploded with power and won the race.
Make it a point to encourage those around you today.