Author’s Note: Over four months, I will write short articles from a personal study I did on Barnabas to help us understand how to better encourage others.  



We must encourage others in a world that is full of negativity. It’s especially important to encourage those serving in ministry roles because it can often be a thankless job where the people you serve somehow always know how to do your job better than you!  


Ephesians 4:32 tells us not to let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths but only words that will build others up. One of my favorite verses on encouragement is 1 Thessalonians 5:14: “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 


I want you to think about how you can encourage someone today, and I’ll give you one practical suggestion for doing that in this article from Barnabas’ example. 


Encourage generosity. 


The first time we see Barnabas mentioned in the Bible is Acts 4:36. Did you know that Barnabas was originally named Joseph? The apostles first called him Barnabas.  


His first act of encouragement was to sell land and lay the money at the apostles’ feet. That had to encourage the apostles as the early church was just starting. Imagine a church planter being gifted land or a building—encouraging! 


One way that you can encourage others is by being generous toward them.  



  • Helping people during challenging times;  
  • Assisting a family working toward adoption or someone who is mission trip fundraising. Our family was so blessed by others donating toward the adoption of two of our children. I remember the first gift that came in was from a friend of ours that we hadn’t seen in nearly seven years.  


I’ll never forget when an older couple in my church gave me $1500 to get a laptop right before my freshman year of college. That was incredible! Even more incredible was that that amount of money only got me a 9GB hard drive back then.  


How about that time you pulled up to the drive through window and found out someone in front of you already paid. That just makes your day! 




  • Books. Maybe you have books that would be helpful. One of the ways I try to encourage pastors is by giving away extra books or ones I don’t use anymore. You could be a blessing to other ministers by sharing your library, or by giving away some of your books upon retirement. 
  • Tools. Help others with power tools or other equipment if they’re working on a project and you have something they could borrow to save them money renting it.  
  • Wisdom. You can help others through similar situations you were in. I think older pastors can be some of the most encouraging leaders to younger pastors. 
  • Other possessions. If you’ve been blessed, bless others. It will encourage them! I’ll never forget the encouragement of a friend who handed me his lake house key for two weeks to finish my doctoral thesis.  


Whether financial or some other kind of resource, encourage people by being generous toward them. Here’s why it is encouraging: It’s a blessing to them not only to have something that might help them but also to know that someone believes in them enough to support them. That’s encouraging!