If you want to find a model of encouragement, a modern day Barnabas, take a look at Dr. J.D. Phillips, pastor of Spring http://www.sw-umc.org/img/sub/JDsweater.jpgWoods United Methodist Church in Houston. I served as J.D.’s associate from 1998-2003. I’ve never known anyone who better exemplified an encouraging spirit.
J.D. encouraged people to their face. He’d affirm your words and actions. He’d freely speak his appreciation.
J.D. also encouraged people behind their backs. Have you ever known a back-stabbing gossip? Someone who would spread nasty, vicious tid-bits about you whenever you weren’t around? A person who went out of his way to spread news of your failures and failings? J.D.’s exactly the opposite. In the years I’ve known him, he’d go out of his way to spread good things about people. Besides affirming me to my face, he’d call my parents and affirm me to them.
I owe a lot to J.D. I owe him for what he taught me about encouraging people (though I still have so much to learn). I owe him for the blessing he was to me over and over again through the years.