We need to take the time to intentionally encourage each other so that those we love will know exactly how we feel about them.
The Discussion Starter:
The folks at Soul Pancake have launched a video centering on a Compliment Booth. People walking down a sidewalk were perplexed to see a booth where one person could GIVE a compliment while their partner/friend/family member could GET a compliment. It’s definitely a cool idea, and it certainly struck a chord with the folks who happened upon it. Take a look at how people used this “compliment booth” to encourage those they knew and loved.
The Video Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OBgdoAmuwI
If you watched that and didn’t come close to crying – at least a little bit – you need to have your heart checked. That was some good stuff, right? I mean, it’s always great to see people verbally affirm those they love and appreciate. I really like that idea, a lot, but there was one thing about this video that kept surfacing: the people giving the compliments repeatedly said, “I don’t say this enough, but you….” In other words, they hadn’t taken the time to pour into those that meant the most to them. That’s a mistake I hope you do not make. We need to take the time to intentionally encourage each other so that those we love will know exactly how we feel about them. Let’s talk about that for a few minutes so we can avoid their mistake.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share your name and the things that people most often compliment you about.
- ASK A FEW: What were people’s reactions to seeing a “compliment booth” on the sidewalk? Why do you think that was the case?
- ASK A FEW: What were some of the nicest compliments you heard them speak to one another? Why did they stick out to you?
- ASK A FEW: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? Who was it from?
- ASK A FEW: Why do compliments encourage us so deeply?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think most people encourage others often enough? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Do you encourage those around you often enough?
Read the following passage:
ASK A FEW: If you had to sum up this passage in your own words, how would you do it?
ASK A FEW: Paul says to do two things in the first verse: “encourage one another” and “build each other up.” Can you give an example of how you could do both?
ASK A FEW: Paul was writing this to a church group. Do you think he “really” needed to tell a church to encourage one another? Are churches good at that, or could they be better? Why?
ASK A FEW: What would it look like if we were always trying to “be kind to each other and to everyone else”?
ASK A FEW: Does it say something about our culture that we have to put up a compliment booth on the sidewalk to get people to share encouragement with each other? If so, what does it say?
ASK A FEW: When do you need the most encouragement?
ASK A FEW: Do you wish that the people in your life would encourage you more?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: Who do you know that could really use some encouragement right now? How will you build them up?
1 Thessalonians 5:11-15 (NIV)
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
That video clip we saw pulled out some deep emotions in a few of us. We’ve dreamt of having those kind of things said to us, but maybe no one has ever taken the time to tell us the truth about their feelings and respect for us. On the other hand, some of us have wanted to have the courage to speak up to someone else and give them a compliment, but you never have.
Well, because the Church of Jesus should be the most encouraging place on Earth, we’re going to do something called “Put It In Writing.” I’m going to give everyone a piece of paper entitled I’m Putting It In Writing” and a pen and you’re going to write down a few lines to someone that means an awful lot to you. It can be anybody you choose: a friend, a family member, a fellow student in our youth ministry. Whoever you choose!
I only have two rules.
Number One: No jokes. This isn’t the time to play around or cop out trying to be funny. Just speak from your heart and use nice, loving phrases to build that person up.
Number Two: I want you to end your letter to them by saying, “And I just wanted you to have this in writing.”
(Play some quiet music while the students break apart to write their letters. You should probably give them about 7 minutes to do this. When they’re done, call them all back together and give them an envelope.)
I want you to take your letter of encouragement and place it in the envelopes we’re passing out right now. When you get home, stamp it, address it, and mail it to your person. That way, they get to hear exactly what you think of them, and they get to hold it in their hands forever, allowing them the opportunity to remind themselves of your love whenever they need it.
Before we close up, let’s take a second to pray over our letters. Let’s ask God to use them in mighty ways to encourage those we love so much.
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith