Colossians 1:3-6 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of truth, the gospel that has come to you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace in truth.
One of the principles we see applied in the life of the Apostle Paul, was his constant thanksgiving to God for what God was doing in the churches, and his encouragement for the churches. This is extremely important in our work as shepherds. It is very easy to identify the things that are wrong, and need to be improved or corrected, and we should do so. Yet we also need to demonstrate thanksgiving to God for the church, as an example to them, and encourage them as we do so.
I have found through many years of ministering and shepherding, that encouragement goes a long way. The truth is, most people who are sincere about their faith, are their own worst critics. I know that is true in my life. It is helpful when other people who are godly, and on the same path of faith, offer encouragement along the way.
This also goes a long way toward growing a culture of thanksgiving and encouragement. Be sincere about it, as nobody likes empty compliments. Be intentional about it and look for ways to encourage the church.