Well, it has been quite a week and now ends with the celebration of the Patronal Festival of St Barnabas – whose name literally means ‘son of encouragement’. Encouragement is something we all need. I was trained to give constructive criticism to a work colleague by means of the ‘soft sandwich’. Words of encouragement – then the criticism – followed by more words of encouragement.
However, current corporate thinking is that in order for anyone to hear any words of criticism and change that the person giving those words must have encouraged their employee with seven pieces of praise.
Clearly, encouragement is important and this week I have been able to reflect as I approached my Ordination to the Priesthood all those who have supported and encouraged me along the way. There are too many to name in full but I will just mention two.
The first is Lizzie – my wonderful steadfast and beautiful wife. Lizzie signed up and has been on the adventure of our married life with its ups and downs. She has encouraged me at times and also sat in silence in my pain (sometimes when we share our hurt we are not looking for advice or a quick fix – rather just someone to sit with us in our pain). The second is Paul Voke. Paul was my mentor as part of the Barnabas (Encouragers) Team at my first Church. Paul helped me grow in my ministry with wise words of encouragement – a true Saint.
Let us this week try to build each other up with words of encouragement,