Language That Empowers

Language That Empowers

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). It is true that death is in the power of our words, but the greater truth is that our words contain the power of life. Here is a list of words from my book The Culture of Empowerment that will create great life in the people around us:

  • Encouraging words – “You are making a difference around here.”
  • Positive identity words – “You are a person of great strategic insight. This gifting is taking our organization to higher levels.”
  • Specific thanksgiving words – “Here are three reasons I appreciate you: 1) You make people feel valued in your presence, 2) Your belief in me has been a great strength to me, and 3) Your prayer and worship life inspire me.”
  • “I understand you” words – “I know it’s important to you that I keep my room clean, so here is my plan to do this more consistently.”
  • “I see you” words – “I notice how you always make new people feel welcome and included.”
  • “I need you” words – “I just wanted you to know that we really need you here. You make us so much more successful.”
  • “Win-win” words – “You help me so much. What are the two most important things I can do to help you see your life dreams fulfilled?”
  • “I am proud of you” words – “I was thinking today of how proud I am of you. You are reliable, you do things with excellence, and you represent us so well.”
  • “You are significant and important” words – “You are important. What you do is connected to a bigger purpose and plan. We would not be nearly as successful without you.”
  • Prophetic destiny words – “You are being prepared for bigger influence in the days ahead. This position you have now is training you for those things.”
  • “You’ve got what it takes” words – “You can do it! Nothing is impossible for you!”
  • Hope-filled words – “There is always a solution. I don’t know what it is, but God has one for this situation.”
  • “Giving the benefit of the doubt” words – “I missed the meeting because it wasn’t on my calendar, but I might have missed something that was said about it in our earlier conversations.”
  • Celebration words – “Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that Melissa has done a great job with the hope project.”
  • “You have a unique and strategic assignment” words – “Your temperament, experience, and skillset make you uniquely gifted for a special assignment. I would love to help you clarify the details of it.”
  • Declarative faith statement words – “Right now God is freeing people from depression” or “In this meeting people are getting physically healed.”

Phrases like these help us empower our family, our friends, those we lead, and everyone we meet. Imagine what could be possible when we actively choose to speak life. For more on this, please listen to my podcast here.

For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.