Encouragement provides the emotional fuel that enables people to hold longer, reach farther and dig deeper than previously believed possible. John Maxwell says that encouragement is 51% of leadership. I believe that. As a leader, your role is to give people hope, to build them up and help them believe in themselves in a greater measure than they have before. In short, to live a better life.

Do others see you as an encourager?

Encouragement isn’t something that you do from a checklist of “things to do today.” It’s a way of life for a leader. Encouragement is not a soft expression from a weak leader. The toughest of good leaders understand that it’s something core to sustained influence. Essentially, sincere encouragement comes from a deep love and belief in people, and a desire to see them experience life in a better way.

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Miles Welch, Pastor of Leadership Expansion at 12Stone Church

Editor’s Note: Miles Welch, 12Stone’s Pastor of Leadership Expansion, has been a guest blogger here before and is now blogging regularly on his own site. This past Sunday he taught a fantastic message on leadership! This post is an overview of the first half of his sermon.

One of the most prominent leaders in the Bible is David. Lucky for us, the events of his life are so well documented that we are able to see many critical challenges in which he grew his leadership capacity.

  • He was chosen by God.
  • He faced a giant warrior.
  • He served under a jealous King (and eventually had to flee!)
  • He prevailed in a civil war.
  • He was crowned King.
  • He defeated a Philistine army.
  • He dealt with a rebellious son.

And sure, David had his faults, but how did he handle his extraordinary life of leadership under pressure?

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Growing a church and impacting a community are not mutually exclusive. In fact, these two complex endeavors are highly interrelated. However, a strategy to grow your church may or may not have an impact on your community. In contrast, an intentional plan to impact your community will highly likely help your church grow.

I don’t think this is an ecclesiastical “chicken or egg” conundrum. But it is often an unintentional strategic error on the part of many churches to allow these two to become prioritized incorrectly.

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Your first time guests often decide if they will return within the first ten minutes. Some are more forgiving and will give you a second chance, but most won’t.

The unchurched look for reasons not to return. Even though they were probably invited by a friend, even friendship can’t override a blown first impression.

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