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One of the most liberating and encouraging moments we can experience in life is when we are empowered.

Whether we are empowered by another person, the Holy Spirit, a culture or through a vocation, we are left with a sense of awe, humility, courage, validity and enfranchisement. When a person is effectively empowered, it is reproduced. Empowerment is contagious.

We’ve all watched a giggling toddler run full speed ahead while looking backward. Have you ever seen a runner glance back to see where their opponent is located? How about a guide walking a visually impaired person along a busy city sidewalk? Each situation involved some form of empowerment.

As pastors and leaders, it is vital that we occasionally assess our intentionality and ability to empower others. Routine, the busyness of life and the urgent can dull our edge quickly if we are not careful. See if you can identify with the aforementioned scenarios, and find encouragement and maybe a gentle “nudge.”

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16, NKJV).

Do you see yourself in the toddler? Are you sprinting forward, looking around for approval and affirmation from mentors and elders around you? The Lord desires to empower and encourage you, and there are spiritual mothers and fathers around you desiring to do the same.

Spiritual mothers and fathers, watch for those who seem to be running aimlessly. Use your voice of wisdom and experience. You are needed, and your words are valuable.

Perhaps you have a running partner, someone who serves alongside you in ministry. Don’t resist the times of pressure and increased pace. The Lord has teamed you together because of your strengths and gifts. He often uses those closest to us to stretch, encourage us and empower us. Don’t resist the pressure. There is empowerment in these ordained relationships. “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Prov. 27:17).

Are you gently guiding and empowering another person? Guidance requires closeness, trust, gentleness and patience. This is different from your mentoring relationships; this is empowerment and compassion combined.

Who are you helping who cannot or will not help themselves—one who is vulnerable, blinded or wounded? It’s convenient to lead the pliable, quick and ready learner. Are you empowering one of “the least of these,” as described in Matthew 25:40?

I am so grateful for those who have empowered me along my journey of faith. When I turned to look who was watching, how I was pacing and if I was headed in the right direction, faithful mentors and friends and leaders were there. I thank God often for those who have influenced my life. Pray with me for those who need empowerment and encouragement today.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for those who are the “running toddlers,” looking to you for empowerment and affirmation. Your words have weight and value. Steward them well.
  • Pray for those who are running alongside you in ministry. Pace, push and empower one another. Allow iron to sharpen iron.
  • Pray for those who need close guidance, instruction and care. Never forget from where you’ve come. Your obedience to the Lord and the decisions you make cut and mark a clear path for others.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is an associate district supervisor of the Atlantic District of The Foursquare Church.