In a crisis, the body’s burst of adrenaline can boost the average person’s physical abilities, so that a man is able to lift a car off a trapped bicyclist and a mother can fight off a polar bear threatening her son.
Author Mark Chanski makes the case that encouragement is able to do emotionally and psychologically for the soul what adrenaline does for the body. While Christians are sometimes reluctant to offer encouragement, we must do so in order to love our neighbors as ourselves. Building on the foundation of the gospel as the ultimate encouragement from God, the author—using quotations, historical references, illustrations, and examples—sets forth the Christian’s obligation to offer encouragement and then shows us how we can be encouraging in our families, in our churches, and in the world.
Table of Contents:
1. The Exhilaration of Encouragement
2. The Obligation of Encouragement
3. Some Direct Expressions of Encouragement
4. Some Subtle Expressions of Encouragement
5. The Gospel as the Ultimate Encouragement
6. The Personal Disinclinations to Encouragement
7. The Social Discinclinations to Encouragement
8. The Marriage Implications of Encouragement
9. The Parenting Implications of Encouragement
10. The Church and Therapeutic Encouragement
11. The Church and Strategic Encouragement
12. The Companion of Encouragement
13. The Disposition of Encouragement
14. The Expansion of Encouragement
Mark Chanski has labored as a full-time pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Reformed Baptist Church in Holland, Michigan since 1994. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, CA. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has four sons and one daughter (born 1983 to 1994). He has also authored Manly Dominion, In a Passive-Purple-Four-Ball World (2004); and Womanly Dominion: More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit (2008).
“Encouragement—we all need it! And yet Christians are often painfully slow in giving it to each other for a variety of reasons. In this gripping and arresting book, Pastor Mark Chanski provides for us a resounding, irrefutable case for encouraging one another in the Lord Jesus Christ. He buttresses his case with numerous scriptural and practical examples that cascade on us until we are absolutely persuaded that we ought to be encouraging others much more than we are prone to do. The author himself has been such a Barnabas friend (an ‘encourager’) to me for many years, so I know that he models what he writes! You don’t have to agree with every point the author makes to have your life transformed into being a Barnabas—an ‘encourager’—after reading this book. I challenge you to read it and then go out to encourage others as Jesus and the biblical saints as well as great stalwarts in church history commonly did.” — Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“We all thrive on encouragement, and at some point or other we’ve all wished we were more encouraged. Many of us have relationships with people whom we wish we could encourage more effectively. Chanski’s book dives deep into the topic of encouragement and shows us how and why God has designed us to thrive on this ‘adrenaline for the soul.’ Parents, friends, siblings, coworkers—everybody will find tremendous resources for their own hearts and their relationships in this book. You’ll see from Scripture and experience how the words we use to build each other up can impact both somebody’s day and even a lifetime.” — Gloria Furman, author of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full
“We all can do with a good dose of encouragement. In this book Mark Chanski unpacks biblical teaching on this vital subject. He then applies it with the precision of a skilled physician to our present-day struggles using real-life examples. The comprehensiveness of this book is breathtaking! Are you discouraged? Read this book and let God’s love in Christ warm your heart with revitalizing truths. And as your soul experiences buoyancy again, remember to be an affirming companion to others—as this book so eloquently urges us.” — Conrad Mbewe, pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia
“Want to learn how to be like God? Then learn how to be an encourager. With God’s blessing, this wonderful book will not only transform your view of God but it will transform you into His likeness and transform your relationships with others. Practical theology at its best!” — David Murray, professor of Old Testament and practical theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
“What would it be like if we woke up each day and prayed, ‘Lord, help me be an encouragement to someone today’? It would be transformative, enabling us to serve others well rather than serve ourselves. Mark Chanski’s book Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul is a clarion call to do just that.” — Derek W.H. Thomas, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina
“Our Lord and His apostles were at pains to motivate their friends by great positive encouragement, and it is this rich seam that Mark Chanski mines in this important book. One prominent feature of vibrant contemporary congregations is that they are fellowships of encouragement, and one means of attaining this blessing will be the thoughtful study of this book.” — Geoff Thomas, pastor for fifty years of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales