The Ministry of Encouragement

Merwin VanDoornik

READ : 3 John 1:12

Demetrius was as much a friend of the Truth as Diotrephes was opposed to it. And John was quick to praise and commend him. Apparently John was not afraid that Demetrius would get a big head or fall into the sin of pride.

Most of us are impressed with the “spectacular” ministries of a few believers: the ministry that establishes orphanages and soup kitchens or a “Teen Challenge” for drug addicts; the person who prays two hours a day for missions; or the traveling evangelist who claims to have the gift of healing sick bodies. But most of us believe in Christ, not because of some strong preacher, but because of the quiet ministry of a friend, a parent, a teacher, neighbor or co-worker.

One of the quietest but most powerful ministries is that of encouragement. Encouragement is any act, word, letter, note or gift that gives one courage, that builds confidence, that keeps a believer going and growing. The spiritual giant Paul both gave and needed encouragement. If he needed it, I shouldn’t be too embarrassed if I need some too!

And every Christian can have this ministry. “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything. But still I can do something” (Edward Everett Hale).


“Take my life, lead me, Lord: make my life useful to You. Take my life, teach me, Lord: make my life useful to You. Here am I, send me, Lord: make my life useful to You.” (R. Maines Rawls)