Sometimes, it's easy for me as a pastor to spend so much time exhorting that I forget to encourage my people. So the recent EQUIP Conference here in Peoria was good exhortation for me. I had two sessions with my buddy Bill Allison, one of which was on shepherding volunteers (a major part of my pastoral task). In it, he gave us the acronym SHOE, which stands for:
Specify: Tell them exactly what they did right.
Heart: Share from your heart your feelings about what they did.
Off: Let the compliment "hang there" in the air for a second.
Encourage: Tell them to keep doing what they've been doing.
Simple, practical, easy to do. Man, where have I been part of the time?