Six Self Leadership Questions
Don’t we all love to be encouraged? At the right time, one complement, praise, or recognition can gives us the strength and confidence to tackle that next goal. Being an encourager comes natural for some, but for most of us it takes intentionality, a focus shift, and lots and lots of practice. You might say, “Why be an encourager?” HEBREWS 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Encouragement gives us a snap shot of how God sees and feels about us. We are God’s mouth piece in those moments. What better way to spend our time than reflecting the very nature of God.
Here are six questions that you can ask yourself that can help jumpstart your journey to becoming a better encourager.
Who should I surround myself with?
Pray – prayer is “THE” gift that most connects us to the living God. Praying for direction, clarity, and perspective will help God’s word come to life and position you to see circumstances and people through the lens of God’s ways.
Journal – thinking, praying, reading, and then writing connects the things we are meditating (focusing) on to our memory in lasting ways. Take time to write down the names of people that God is prompting you to connect with and the things that you sense God wants for them. Then pray for direction as you seek to be the catalyst that helps bring those prayers to life.
Connect (texts, phone calls, emails, time) – nothing will ever happen until you take the plunge. God has placed this burden on your heart. He has given you desire to pray. Now it’s your turn to act on what God has planted in you. It will take “YOUR” action to see growth.
Schedule– once you have made that initial connection, take time to make this person a priority. For many of you that means blocking out time on your calendar for them. Others it may mean just intentionally reaching out in some other way. The point is this, do something. Take initiative to make them a priority in your life. If you don’t they wont.
What am I doing to advance their journey?
Spend time together – it’s amazing what God can begin to heal, grow, strengthen, and even renew when people are devoted to spend time together and seek to love God and love each other. Don’t think so much about what you need to do or say. Just commit to spending time together and trust that God will equip you with what you need. It may be a bible study, it could be a movie, or a good long walk.
Thread God’s truths into the mundane moments – This is where it gets fun . When (and only when) your relationship with the Lord is vibrant, real, and transformative, you will naturally share what He is doing and how he has helped you see the world through a new set of eyes. This is the word of God in real time, the power of God at work in you, on display for them to see.
When am I celebrating their advancements?
Intentional Praise – Now that you have committed to the hard work of a new relationship you can move to the next level. It will be important that you become a student of their journey. Make every effort to celebrate what God is doing and how they are growing in their trust of God’s ways. Help them to see that the good and bad things that happen in life are opportunities to grow in understanding God’s love and his ultimate goodness.
Speak highly of them to others – It’s not always what you say to them, it’s what you say about them to others. Grow in your ability to talk about others rather than talking about yourself. This can become one of the most beautiful gifts you have to give.
Where are these relationships going?
Encouragement vs. Downer – At times God is the focus and other times the trauma, drama, or circumstances take center stage. When you focus on being a champion and an encourager, it’s much easier to keep Christ center stage. This will keep the relationship from drifting and losing focus on who we are in Jesus.
Find Hope in Jesus through all things – Keep Jesus in the center of the relationship, conversations, circumstances, and most of all your own personal life. WHO YOU ARE, best prepares you to be what God needs you to be for them.
Why has God placed these people in my life?
Transformation – You may be the most tangible expression of God’s love and character a person sees, and being a participant in their transformation may be the precipitous that catalyzes your renewal. God longs to express his love and he can use these relationships to do that.
Sending – What you have modeled can be reproduced. Allow your relationship to serve as a guide and encouragement that can be reproduce, all for the glory of God. Challenge them to do what you have done, you may even find they already are.
How can I keep them a priority?
Stick to the schedule – Things will come up. Time will slip away. Keeping people the priority will not be easy, but God has called you to be his hands and feet. Staying focused and doing whatever it takes to guard the relationship and point them to the saving hope of Jesus is what you must live for.
Learn to say “No” – To make sure that you keep this person a priority. You will need to learn to say no to good things, maybe even better things, but know that nurturing their spiritual health is best. Don’t let your schedule crowd out your time with them. Activities, invitations, outings, work, or just taking “me time” are good, but they can not minimize your commitment to spend time helping people grow in the Lord, because that is best.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”