Majesty in Motion: Creating an Encouragement Culture in all Your Relationships, by Stewart Brown, D. Min. (Word Alive Press, 2009)
I suppose while Jesus lived in Palestine in human form, those around Him truly saw the majesty of God in motion. Until He comes again, Christians have the responsibility of modeling God to those around us. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to live in us and empower us, but too many times we fail.
In Majesty in Motion, Stewart Brown has provided a helpful, practical resource to overcome that failure. The encouragement culture he calls us to isn’t one of superficial compliments, but a lifestyle of building others up toward their God-given potential. It’s rooted and strengthened in prayer.
Seeing others as God sees them, affirming their value and investing time in their lives, is to treat them as Jesus would—to display God’s majesty in motion.
To be encouraged is to experience the transformative power of God, which gives you the courage to be and act according to God’s eternal purpose for your life.” (p. xiv)
As such, we need both to encourage ourselves in the Lord and to encourage others in Him.
This type of encouragement is intentional. It comes from prayerful intimacy with God and an awareness of the needs of others. And as the title makes clear, it’s about relationships, not religion or human effort.
The book asserts that encouragement has three parts: strengthening the heart, coming alongside to help, and inspiring to move forward:
Real, authentic encouragement—the attitude and heart that reflects the greatness of God through the warm, caring filter of God’s grace—is meant to be constantly active in the lives of every follower of Jesus.” (p. 19)
If we accept encouragement as our mission, we need to be equipped to deliver it. Part two of Majesty in Motion highlights three vital elements that God’s encouragers must develop: joy, patience, and an imitation of Jesus’ example.
As well as looking at the life of encouragement and the foundation required in each Christian’s life, the book also addresses the intentionality and the practice of encouragement. We have the why and the how, with practical details and clear examples. Each chapter comes with questions and suggestions for individuals and groups, and there are appendices of extra material for encouragement partners and church greeters.
There is a huge amount of truth packed into this 200-page book, and it’s easy to digest and understand. Application will take work and personal discipline, but the benefits are worth the cost.
I was personally challenged by the repeated call for a solid, personal confidence in God. It makes perfect sense: if you’re not securely trusting God in your own spirit, how can you help others? We must first learn to encourage ourselves in God, like an airline passenger donning her own oxygen mask before helping the child beside her.
David’s friend Jonathan helped him find strength in God when he was in danger from King Saul. Later, by himself David found strength in God when his men were ready to turn on him. Both are needed.
Majesty in Motion sets high goals that are achievable with diligence, and challenges readers to make that effort. It’s on my list of books that I wish every Christian could read.
Stewart Brown, D. Min, is a Canadian pastor, speaker and author currently serving in Alberta. Majesty in Motion follows the theme of his popular speaking engagements. Click here to read more about Majesty in Motion. You can check out Stewart’s recent interview on 100 Huntley Street (Stewart Brown interview, 1/2 and Stewart Brown interview 2/2) or visit his website, One Heart Ministries, to learn more about his ministry.
Majesty in Motion won a 2010 Canadian Christian Writing Award (for work published in 2009) in the Book: Relationship category, and was a finalist in the Book: Christian Living category.
This sounds like a good book for people with the gift of encouragement. Actually, for all of us. Even if that’s not our particular gifting, we still need to be encouragers. Maybe even more so.
I agree, Ginny. There’s so much discouragement in the world that if we can give a bit of warmth, it’s really needed.
One of the things that surprised me in the book is the point that we ourselves need to be secure in trusting God’s character before we can authentically encourage someone else. Makes sense–if we don’t have a good foothold, we can’t really extend a helping hand and not risk falling down ourselves.
The book encouraged me as well as challenging me to encourage others.
Sounds like a great book Janet. I believe I’ll put this on my wish list!
It’ll bless you, Laura, I’m sure.