What Is an Exhorter at Church?

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

God equips people in the church with various spiritual church-building gifts. These gifts differ from the charismatic gifts such as prophesy, healing, miracles and unknown tongues discussed in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10. Church-building gifts such as showing mercy, pastoring, teaching, serving, exhorting and administrating equip believers to minister to people in and out of the church. Exhorters provide spiritual support to the church in various ways.

Cheerleaders and Motivators

Exhorters bring a word of encouragement and motivation to the people around them because they always see the optimistic side of the coin. Exhorters nurture church members and make newcomers feel welcome. They seem to know who needs a little extra push or someone to believe in them. The exhorter comes along beside you and walks with you through the rough spots, giving you just enough support to get you on to the next step. He helps you believe in yourself and see the possibilities ahead of you.

Empathic Communicators

Exhorters feel what you feel, in good times and in bad. They make good counselors, teachers and leaders because they motivate people to strive to be better and to attain new heights. They use their ability to communicate well to help you see things from a different perspective or to try a different way of doing things. People listen when an exhorter talks and often respond in positive ways. She can motivate you to action.

Storytellers

Exhorters have stories for many difficult and uncomfortable situations. Most often these stories come out of their own experience and speak to the needs and concerns of the person they are speaking with. This ability has helpful applications. The exhorter can often find just the right story to give you what you need most at the time. Additionally, the exhorter can use the talent to craft good Bible stories and analogies to make a point. This makes classes and groups he leads more interesting and valuable to the attendees.

People Persons

Exhorters notice people and make friends very easily. They accept people the way they are and offer them help from wherever that is. People find themselves attracted to an exhorter and want to spend time with her. When you make friends with an exhorter, you find yourself telling her stories and things you might not otherwise share. Because she knows almost everyone in your church, she knows who can help you the most, whom you should talk to about getting involved in a particular ministry and how to follow God.

Practicality

Exhorters care more about practical application than mental gymnastics. They see something that needs to get done, and they do it or motivate someone to do it. Exhorters teach Bible classes that focus on how to put Scripture into practice. Suggestions made at business meetings focus on solutions, sometimes at the expense of thinking the problem all the way through.

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About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.