Nurtures or fosters others through presence and words of comfort, encouragement and counsel
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When I listened to Sherry Weddell describing the Charism of Encouragement, I could see that this was very similar to what I had been doing in my work as a Business Consultant. But was it really a charism, or just a skill?
When I filled in the Called and Gifted personal inventory, I scored highly for Teaching, Hospitality and Encouragement. I worked as a teacher for 45 years, so I felt it might be difficult to tell if Teaching was a charism or a learned skill. So I chose to explore Encouragement because this was a new area for me, in fact I was really surprised I had scored so highly!
During my one to one conversation we decided that I should explore the Charism of Encouragement. Soon after this, I was invited to train as a Called and Gifted interviewer. This seemed a good way to use my charism, so I left my comfort zone and, after my training, started on my one to one conversations.
For some time now our prayer group at St Edmund’s, Abingdon, has felt the call to put our faith into action and reach out to the many homeless on the streets of Oxford. We call it the Chocolate Ministry as we take bars of chocolate to give to any of our less fortunate brothers and sisters that we come across as we walk around the city.
The Charism of Encouragement emerged when I filled in the Inventory and also during the one to one conversation. This was not a surprise as my colleagues had often commented on how much I had encouraged them. The Called and Gifted process has made me much more conscious about using the charism of encouragement for the benefit of other people. Now I am able to focus on the purposes God has specifically intended for me.
After I had been to the teaching sessions I met with one of the Called and Gifted team. This one to one conversation helped me to see that I have always had a passion for encouraging people to get better in themselves and to do well in achieving their ambitions.
Completing the inventory, I scored well for Encouragement and also, though not quite so high, for Writing. These marks didn’t surprise me. I am an experienced marriage counsellor so listening and enabling are familiar skills. As for writing, I’ve always regarded myself as good at it. It was a big part of my job as a civil servant and I still keep a daily diary. But are these genuine charisms?