Ray Ortlund writes about encouragement, observing that it is not supplemental to Gospel knowledge and experience but that it is an essential expression of Gospel knowledge and understanding.
Encouragement is the experiencing the Gospel lived out.
Encouragement is what the gospel feels like as it moves from one believer to another. The ministry of encouragement, therefore, isn’t optional or just for people with a knack for it. Real encouragement has authority over us all. It deserves nothing less than to set the predominant tone of our churches, our homes, our ministries.
When the ministry of encouragement is allowed its actual authority, and it takes over and sets the tone in a community, that is how people do walk out of church. They leave thinking, “Man alive, I needed that! It makes me want to live for Christ this week! And I can’t wait for next Sunday!” And the word for that is revival.