Appreciation and Encouragement Workshop

If there’s something all of us can use a little bit more, it would be appreciation and encouragement. But too bad both these are in short supply and come few and far in between. No wonder when we gave a workshop on this in our family conference, even though we didn’t have enough time for everyone to do the group exercises, the feedback was still positive. Everyone was hungry for what comes so rarely, so much so that our missionary friend referred us to his pastor to give the same workshop to his church.

This time we learned from our mistake and cut out some of our “lecture”, which was boring, and allotted enough time for the participants to share. They were divided into groups of 4 or 5 people who knew each other. Using an appreciation/encouragement word list we distributed as a reference, each person will receive verbal affirmation from his/her group members. Only positive comments were allowed; no criticisms. The recipients acknowledge the affirmation with a gracious thank you; no deflections were allowed.

The results were amazing. As facilitators we moved from group to group to make sure they did not have any problems. They didn’t. They were excitedly giving affirmation to their group members, something they had not done in the past but were eager to do when asked. Some recipients were genuinely surprised as to how highly their friends thought of them but never told them; others were embarrassed at all the positive comments, believing they did not live up to the praises heaped on them. One man remarked that he did not realize that Chinese have so many words of appreciation and encouragement until he read our list.

Since only a portion of the fellowship came to the Saturday workshop, we handed out cards for the people to write those they want to appreciate but who did not come to the meeting. The next day many cards were passed around after the Sunday morning worship. People were pleasantly surprised when they received a card and broke out in broad smiles. The pastor, an overworked and under-appreciated faithful worker and usually serious, was noticeably relaxed and cheerful as he thanked us in the afternoon service. It changed the atmosphere in the church, if only for a brief time. Pray that this continues as that’s the way it should be.

Appreciation and Encouragement Workshop at Double Blessing Church

Appreciation and Encouragement Workshop at Double Blessing Church

Participants divide into small groups for exercises

Participants divide into small groups for exercises

Short-termer receiving encouragement from the pastor and his wife

Short-termer receiving encouragement from the pastor and his wife

Fellow cell group members receive appreciation from each other

Fellow cell group members receive appreciation from each other

Mother-in-law was all smiles after receiving appreciation from son-in-law

Mother-in-law was all smiles after receiving appreciation from son-in-law

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Comments

  • sunsetwonder  On May 18, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Everyone likes to feel appreciated but somehow not everyone likes to give out appreciation. Appreciation is the best encouragement, an appreciated person would want to do better and less likely to give up when encounter problems.

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