We have a Gifted to Serve class coming up on Sunday, February 10 (9:30 or 11 am) that will enrich your faith journey. Join us to learn about your gifts, ministry style, and passions so you feel empowered and equipped to serve God and others in a way that brings you joy! Take the Gifted to Serve Discovery in advance narrow down your spiritual gift in a 15 minute assessment.
Every other week we’ve explored a different gift together, and today we’re focusing on exhortation. Exhortation is just a fancy word for encouragement. The dictionary definition of exhortation is, “an address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something.” But we care more deeply about the spiritual definition of exhortation.
Is there a specific person you go to when you could use some uplifting? Does this person make you feel comforted and empowered to move forward boldly? He or She might have the gift of exhortation!
Here is how we define the gift of exhortation:
Exhortation is the gift of exceptional encouragement. Exhorters see the silver lining in every cloud, offer deep and inspiring hope to the community, and look for and commend the best in everyone.
Exhorters empower others to feel good about themselves and to feel hopeful for the future. Exhorters are not concerned by appearances; they hold fast to what they know to be true and right and good.
Beyond exceptional hopefulness and the ability to hold forth support and encouragement in difficult situations, exhortation is a gift of wise counsel, speaking the truth in love, holding one another accountable, and extending the hand of forgiveness. Sometimes not held in high regard, people with this gift have sometimes been overlooked for leadership positions.
A great example of a person from the Bible with the gift of encouragement is the little known character, Barnabas. Barnabas became a partner in Paul’s ministry. Although we know him as Barnabas, that was not his birth name. He was born with the name Joseph, but was given the nickname “Barnabas” during his ministry which means, “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). This rather obscure Bible character was so encouraging that it became his name. What a legacy to leave!
On one occasion, he was sent by the Jerusalem church to Antioch. Acts 11:23-24 describes his arrival, “When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” After his arrival, Barnabas sought out Saul to help him with the work (Acts 11:25).
Exhortation in Scripture:
As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. – 1 Thessalonians 2:11 (NRSV)
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25 (NRSV)
There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). – Acts 4:36 (NRSV)
Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.” – Acts 11:19-26 (NRSV)
These are just a few ways you can serve at Trietsch with the gift of exhortation:
- Life Group Leader
- Recovery Ministry Team
- Homebound Visitation
- College Care Ministry
- Facility Tour Guide
If you have questions about spiritual gifts, where you can serve, or how your gift can be used outside of Trietsch, email Denise Robinson at email@example.com.