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Developing an Encouragement Culture

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Leadership Straight from Bill Hybels Developing An Encouragement Culture My journey on this whole thing started when I was in 2nd grade. My 2nd grade teacher gave me a poem to memorize. When Samuel had heard a voice in the night, and he told Eli, "Maybe, God is trying to talk." Eli tells him to say speak Lord your servant is listening. My teacher taught on that and gave me a poem to memorize. O give me Samuel's ear, an open ear, O Lord. Alive and quick to hear, each whisper of Thy word like him to answer to Thy call and to obey Thee first of all. In second grade I memorized that. She almost fainted when I said it to her. She put her hands on my little shoulders and said, "If you will listen to God like Samuel did I think God will put an anointing on your life." All I tried to do from that time is to keep one ear open to Heaven throughout the normal course of my day. Sometimes I do not hear a lot. Sometimes it is surprising the encouragement I will get from the Holy Spirit, the correction I will often get from the Holy Spirit. Hey, what are you thinking down there? Oh, sorry. Then go another direction. I helped raise money for a church down South in the US. They kindly asked me to come and dedicate their building. Usually churches ask me to help raise money and that is the last I hear from them. This guy actually asked me to come back. We had some thunderstorms and our plane landed late. The people are already in the new building. They are singing, worshiping. This is the opening night. First time in the new building that these people had donated money to. First time they were in it together worshiping. To save time, the pastor drags me through the new nursery to get to the stage where I am to give this talk that no one will remember. I am part way through the nursery and I see this woman and sometimes God gives you a lot of insight if you just look for a second at a person. This woman was in her late 50s. She was not dressed fashionably. Her hair was not styled in the latest style. She had a crying baby in each arm and her glasses were like Coke bottles. I was being rushed passed her with these crying babies. The Holy Spirit whispered to me, "Stop. Stop." The pastor has me by the shirt trying to lead me. I say, "Hey, I need 15 seconds. He says, "You're late." Just 15 seconds. I went to the woman and said "Everyone in your church is in the new auditorium singing and worshiping God right now. And you are here taking care of some other peoples children. Way to go. You are making it possible for these people to be where I am sure you would like to be but you are sacrificing for the sake of someone else. I just want to say 'way to go'." She barely looked up at me. She felt it was a little odd possibly. The pastor yanks at me and I gave a forgettable dedication talk. The pastor brings me back to the airplane. Before I get on, the pastor gives me two envelopes. I get on the plane. Up at cruise altitude, I open one. It was a letter of appreciation. The other one was an envelope with very awkward penmanship. I open it up and the note was barely legible. I came to understand it was from the woman in the nursery. She writes, "Dear, Bill. I have worked in this nursery for 22 years. I have worked in the nursery as a volunteer for 22 years. You are the first person who ever said 'thank you'." She wrote, "It made me feel good." I am not proud of this part. I took that letter and threw it on the floor of the airplane. Why is it so hard for pastors to say 'thank you?' Why is it so hard for staff members to gather volunteers once in a while and say 'thank you?' What is so expensive about saying to faithful people, 'way to go.' When a church learns how to let encouragement flow freely you develop an encouragement culture. And you encourage your pastor when he does well. The pastor encourages the staff when they do well. The staff encourages the volunteers. Volunteers encourage other volunteers. You end up in this very beautiful, Christ-honoring, inspiring culture of people who are encouraging. That is an elixir. That is powerful stuff. It makes people want to stay faithful.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 46 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: Willow Creek Association
Director: Willow Creek Association
Views: 66
Posted by: landsm on Oct 15, 2014


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