I've had a buddy since college who is the most encouraging person I've ever met. Every single time I talk to him, he finds a way to sneak in an edifying comment of some sort. I always walk away from my time with him feeling a little bit better about myself.
I've been thinking lately about the power of encouragement. I wonder if anything has such a high return on such a simple investment.
A few words of encouragement to a parent of a junior higher can make their day! Pointing out something you've seen in how the love their child or saying something kind to them about their kid are both super easy ways to encourage a mom or dad.
A few words of encouragement to a 13 year old makes a huge difference. Look for something deeper than "I like your new hair cut" or "That's a cool skateboard" and point out something about his or her character. "I love the way you ________" or "I noticed the way you treated the new student" etc. take about 30 seconds but make a big impact.
A few words of encouragement to your volunteers may keep them around a little while longer. Point out an area they excell in and thank them for it. Express ways your ministry is better because of them.
Encourgement...I wonder if anything has such a high return on such a simple investment.