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One of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is ministering to his team. Leadership provides the awesome opportunity of developing those God has entrusted to him. It is a serious and sobering responsibility. Hebrews 13:7 reminds leaders they will give an account for those to whom they minister because “they watch for your souls.”

Encouragement is one of the foundational responsibilities of leadership. Moses was instructed to charge, encourage and strengthen Joshua. We often think of instructing and feel a bit more adept at giving direction than we do spending time encouraging. I want to suggest five ways to encourage your leadership team.

  1. Build Mutual Respect – We do this when we show honor or take time to cultivate the relationship (Proverbs 17:17; 1 Peter 2:17).
  2. Build Credibility – It may be necessary for you to lend some credibility to younger leadership, so practice public and private praise (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
  3. Build Team Spirit Communication is strategic to building a team. It will mean being willing to share your heart and passion as well as learning the art of listening (Psalm 133:1; Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; Romans 15:5-6).
  4. Build the Individual – Assisting in an individual’s growth process means evaluation of both strengths and weaknesses for the purpose of encouragement (Acts 15:36; Proverbs 27:5-6, 23).
  5. Build by Modeling Others will be encouraged by your example in stewardship and servitude. Remember, leadership by example is highly encouraging (Ephesians 5:15-16; Philippians 2:5-7).

One of my favorite examples of leadership in the Bible is found by comparing 1 Samuel 22:2 with 2 Samuel 23:9-10. David recruited those who were “in distress, in debt and were discontented” and inspired them to become “mighty men of valor”!

The only difference in these men was a lengthy association with a godly leader. I am challenged – every time I am reminded of this truth – to take my leadership seriously and to be committed to encouragement.

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