Here are some encouragement project ideas for September and October. You might want to click these links to see how they correspond to the September Devotion and Bible Study for the Encourager’s Devotional Series.
*Is there someone who could use a dose of mercy from you? Someone you could try to see anew through eyes that “cover” their faults? If so, put the matter to prayer and then try to think of a way to encourage them.
*Are you part of a group of people who always tend to grumble and complain? Perhaps you could be intentional about not joining in on those conversations for a month. As the devotion pointed out this month, we might even agree with the complaints but that doesn’t mean we have to participate in such “gripe sessions.” And if you really want to take this challenge up a notch, perhaps you could make it a goal to insert at least one positive comment about the situation or person who is the subject of the complaining.
*Looking ahead: October is Pastor Appreciation Month and some have asked how they might encourage their ministers. Here are some suggestions:
- One of our churches used to provide us with meals throughout the month. Sometimes food was brought to us. Some people took us out or had us over. Others gave gift certificates to restaurants. We loved it!
- The same church also did a “stock the parsonage pantry.” That was a great blessing. If you do this, it might be a good idea to ask what food items are family favorites.
- How about having a “Handy-man at your service” emphasis and ask what repairs or home-improvement projects you might do?
- Ask the minister’s spouse if there’s any “secret” dream or wish you could fulfill for the minister and/or the family. A vacation or get-away? A new study book or set of commentaries? A course of study they’d like to attend? A microphone headset or new pulpit? You might be surprised what a minister really wishes he/she could have that hasn’t been worked into the budget. One church bought my husband a leaf blower because someone heard him teasing that he was envious of the neighbor’s. It was a thoughtful gesture that made us laugh, too.
- Card showers are encouraging (I’ve kept the cards and notes people have given us and still look them over now and then). Ministers are often the target of the speech sins mentioned in this month’s devotional (grumbling, gossip, etc.). It is always good for them to hear the things people appreciate.
- Send them on a weekend retreat.
- And finally, really knock their socks off and volunteer now to direct next year’s VBS, or Easter drama, or … you name it. Volunteers are always a blessing.
Can you add any suggestions to this list?