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Ministry Gift of an Exhorter


Someone who has the ability to encourage, comfort, challenge and motivate others towards right action. They possess a special empathy that enables them to communicate with others in such a way that people respond to them, Exhorters are important resources for emotionally supporting and girding up the Body of Christ.

Biblical References:

  • Romans 12:8 & 15:4
  • Acts 2:40 & 11:23
  • I Thessalonians 2:11-12
  • 2 Timothy 4:2

Typical Ministry Characteristics:

  1. Passionate about helping people who are struggling or in a life crisis. Unable to walk by someone who is hurting or discouraged without wanting to help in some way. Can find the right words to say that can bring help and healing. Motivates people to practical life solutions that please Christ.
  2. Supernatural ability to discern when someone has an emotional need. Able to pick up on the struggles and problems of people, even when it is not obvious. Can tell when someone is deeply hurting regardless of the front they put up.
  3. A strong burden for the poor and the helpless. Has genuine concern for those who and destitute and cannot help themselves. Give generously to those who are in need, even at great personal sacrifice. Encourage the local church body regarding acts of benevolence.
  4. Excellent at communicating one on one. Display unusual empathy and compassion in their relations with other people. Naturally adapt in the areas of listening and counseling. Willing to confront others when it is to their benefit.
  5. People oriented in their approach to ministry. Find great satisfaction and fulfillment in developing relationships with other people. Often seen as everyone's friend. May not desire to develop long term mentoring relationships or devote much ministry time to people not needing help.
  6. Patient in dealing with others. Do not react quickly when mistreated. Motivated to focus their interactions with others based on the need they perceive in the other person rather than from their own need.

General Information

The Greek word used for exhort means to drcnv near, as in invite or invoke. That is what those with the calling of an exhorter do. They draw near to other people, particularly those who are in need, and offer them substantial help and encouragement.

The Example of Barnabas

Barnabas is a good example of this ministry in the Bible. In fact, his name actually means "son of encouragement". It was Barnabas who accepted Paul when others in the Church were skeptical about his conversion to Christianity (Acts 9:26-27). He also helped John Mark after Paul had rejected him (Acts 15:36-40), and in so doing, assisted in their relationship to be restored. The Bible indicates that Mark went on to become one of Paul's closest associates and helped him to write a number of his letters {Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11). If Barnabas not been an exhorter, we could have ended up missing a half of the New Testament!

Exhorters Encourage Others

Exhorters are people who encourage others. They challenge Christians caught in sin to repent and come back to the Lord. They comfort and console those who are discouraged or in mourning. They encourage young believers to preserve in their faith and ministry. They look after the interest and take up the cause of the poor and the rejected. They give others a divine touch of God's love.

Because of their need to stay close to other people, exhorters tend to remain part of a local church and do not often operate as an itinerant ministry. Their ministry can sometimes be confused that of a pastors because of their strong love and affection for others. However, when exhorters are put in a pastoral position, they may not have the teaching or leadership abilities necessary to adequately shepherd a church body.

Have an Inspirational Ministry

Exhorters have an inspirational ministry. The words they speak will come from a quickening of the Holy Spirit. They usually display strong gifting in the areas of prophecy, wisdom, knowledge and healing. Exhorters can also have great insight in applying Scripture passages to real life situations. While exhorters primarily minister to others one on one, they can also exhort people through public speaking.

Are Key to Evangelism

Because exhorters are effective communicators, they demonstrate great ability in the area of friendship evangelism. Exhorters can develop strong relationships with non-believers for much the same reasons they develop them with believers. They are easy to relate to, and they make great friends. For the person who does not know Christ, this ministry can be a significant influence in moving them towards salvation.


"..choose you this day whom ye will serve;" (Jos 24:15)