Our culture doesn’t do well in teaching people to encourage others. We tend to look inward, worry about our own appearance, our own situation, our own well-being. Our only concern about others is what they think about us.
No wonder so many people suffer from low self esteem.
But a small group is a private cheering squad. This is your group of encouragers, your own personal “Yeah!” crowd, the people who love you unconditionally and always offer a word that uplifts, affirms and encourages.
Well, not always. But every group can grow in this area, and some become absolutely terrific at it. It’s really not that hard.
Here’s how you do it.
Try the hot seat. In this exercise, you announce that at today’s meeting one of the members who you select is going to sit in the favored chair. Tell the group that one by one, every one in the group is going to say something positive and encouraging to the person in the chair. Each person must be sincere, no one should say anything phony or insincere. Every one should take a moment to think about something they like about the person in the chair, and then they tell that person their encouraging thought.
Wow! We really don’t do that very often, do we? But fortunately, encouragement is a learned trait. Each person in your group can learn how to be better at it. It just takes practice.
Try the hot seat every week until every person has been in it once. Then save it for new people. The day they visit, every one in the group pays special attention to them. The next week, the new person sits in the hot seat. Members of your group will find that suddenly great things are happening, their relationships are getting better, people like them more. Why? Because they have learned how to be encouragers. Teach your group this and you might be the reason why a marriage is saved; or a relationship between family members is reconciled.
Start this week with the hot seat, try it for awhile and then share your observations of what has changed in the group. You'll be surprised.