Thursday, May 14, 2009

I Believe in You

"There are people that don't think you are doing a good job, and they don't think you will make it here; but I believe in you." These words were spoken by Mark a man in the church where I was first a Youth Pastor. These words would encourage me to the point that I would end up being at that church for 5 years! This is the power of encouragement in action. Maybe, I have gotten ahead of myself. Let me give you some background.

The time was Summer of 1992 in Southeast Louisiana, and I had just concluded a less than stellar Youth service. I did not know what it took to relate to youth, I had graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Pastoral Ministry. How could I reach these youth? I was discouraged after this Youth service, and I felt all alone. I had moved to this town and lived in the apartment next to the church for a starting salary of $2,400 a year. It was obvious I would have to find another part time job. But how could I concentrate and live up to the demands of the people who had brought me on as their Youth Pastor? This would be a balancing act. How did I do it? I realized that people only have one real need, and that need is to be loved.

I still didn't know what I was doing, and I was still pretty stiff and formal around the young people. One young man asked me if I owed any jeans? I didn't let this stop me, as a matter of fact I began to pray for these young people, and you know what God gave me a love for these young men and young women. I remember when our Youth Ministry started that we had 6 young people in attendance. I was praying for them one day, and all of a sudden I felt inspired to write them letters (remember this was circa 1990) to encourage them. I began to tell them what I appreciated about them, and what I saw in their character. There were some young people that told me that this meant a lot to them. One Mom even told me that her son would get the letter out and read it often. What is my point?

This is it. When I heard someone say "I believe in you." I was now responsible to encourage greatness in others along the way.

I am now almost 41 years old, and today I am the man I am because someone believed in me. How about you, who is it who encouraged greatness in you? It's your turn now, go and find someone and encourage them to do great things for God today.

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