Three years into my role as senior minister of our church, a former senior minister returned to live in our city and serve on our staff. Charles Prince was thirty years my senior, Harvard educated, and a member of the Mensa society. I was in my thirties, a rookie, and a charter member of the Dense Society. Charles said, “There will be no tension in our relationship. I’m going to be your biggest cheerleader.” And he was— for twenty-five years, until the day he died!
Intentional encouragement has a Michelangelo impact on people. The sculptor saw the figure of David within the marble and carved it out. The encourager does the same. He sees your best self and calls it out, not with a chisel, but with words of affirmation. That is how happiness happens.