I know her. You know her. She’s the woman who is pouring her life into others or a cause or a ministry. She’s the woman who brings light into this dark world.
She may be in prison ministry, or working at a homeless shelter, or leading a women’s ministry at her church or leading women across the globe in an online Bible study.
Women who serve others may do it in a million different ways, but they have one thing in common- they need encouragement!
Oh girl, we all do!
In fact, to “encourage” someone means you grant them courage. Literally.
The word encourage comes from the old French word, “encoragier” which means to make strong, add strength, or hearten.
The woman you’re thinking of is probably typically on the giving end of encouragement but I guarantee you she needs someone to grant her courage as well. She may feel weak, tired, or even disheartened, and your encouragement can give her the boost she needs.
So, how can you encourage her?
1. Tell Her
A really nice woman at one of my recent events said, “I know you hear this all the time but I wanted you to know that your words really helped me.” She was so kind to tell me that God used something I said to minister to her. But, what’s interesting is the first part of her sentence – “I know you hear this all the time…”
We assume that those serving in ministry hear “all the time” how much their work means to others. So, we don’t tell her thanks or “great job” because we think she hears it on a regular basis. Sister, she probably doesn’t! And, she probably can’t hear it too much because there is an annoying voice in her brain that is telling her all that she is doing wrong, she isn’t measuring up and her long hours aren’t really worth it.
So, tell her!
Encourage her by offering practical truth, such as, “God has given you all you need for life and godliness, so keep it up because God has equipped you!” Or tell her, “I know you must get tired and I want you to know that I see your good work and you glorify your Heavenly Father.”
Tell her, text her, email her, call her or write her a note!
Your encouragement will help to build her up when she is feeling weary.
2. Pray for Her
I used to say, “I’ll pray for you,” and I meant it — I really meant it — and then I’d walk away and totally forget!
My great intention to pray got swallowed up in the great abyss of my forgetful brain or busy life. Anyone else? Has it ever happened to you?
I think it happens to all of us, so I’ve learned to be intentional with my good intentions! I pray right then and there. I text prayers. I email prayers.
Prayer is a beautiful way to encourage a woman who is serving and leading others.
You don’t have to pray big and long — just a sincere offering to God on behalf of your sister. “Lord, help Joni today with all she is dealing with. Fill her where she is empty. Amen.”
“Pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” James 5:16 MSG
3. Nominate Her
Okay, girls, this way to encourage just makes me want to cheer!
Did you know that womensministry.net is honoring women who serve others through 40 Under 40. It’s a campaign to acknowledge and celebrate women 40 or younger who are serving God by serving others through ministry.
Isn’t that cool?!?
I know several women I want nominated, and I bet you do too. What a soul-enriching way to say to a woman who ministers, “What you do matters!” and “You matter!”
And, what is so beautiful about encouraging someone else is it lifts your spirit too!
You will find that as you lift others up, you grow stronger in the process!
I’d love to hear your favorite way to encourage women who are serving in ministry. Leave a comment below, and then head over to womensministry.net/40under40 to get your nominations in by May 31.