Every church has a few of them—members or regular attenders who require more of your time and the church’s resources. Maybe it’s:
- Carol, the single mom who frequently needs help with parenting her rebellious teenage son
- Gary, the divorced guy whose ex-wife is turning his kids against him, and as a result, he needs a lot of encouragement
- Aaron, the young adult in your church who battles depression
If you only had more time
As a pastor you know you’ve been called to help people like Carol, Gary, and Aaron, and you find joy in sharing the love of Christ with them. It’s what we do. But you can find yourself wishing they were more like your low-maintenance members. Haven’t we all been tempted to dwell on thoughts like these:
If I didn’t have to spend so much time helping this single mom deal with parenting issues, I could get this couples ministry off the ground.
If I didn’t have to spend so much time helping Gary work through his divorce, we could spend more time planning this spring’s outreach event.
If our bivocational pastor didn’t spend so much time ministering to Aaron, he could focus on church administration.
You’re not asking for much … right?
That kind of thinking is normal. In fact, there’s an element of nobility in it. It’s not like you want more free time. You want more time to focus on growing Christ’s church. But that kind of thinking leads you to fantasize about pastoring a church full of happy, stable, tithing families.
We know that isn’t a realistic view of ministry. But how do we do great things for God when His to-do list keeps us from getting started?
A different perspective
Carol, Gary, and Aaron represent the thousands of people in your community who are dealing with similar issues.
Carol is just one of the nine million single-parent moms in the United States.
Gary represents hundreds of dads in your community who are looking for encouragement and counsel after their marriages have fallen apart.
Aaron is emblematic of the estimated 15.7 million adults aged eighteen or older in the US who had at least one major depressive episode in the past year—all of whom need Christ-centered counsel and encouragement.
When we stop looking at suffering people as special cases that keep us from ministry, we begin to see ministry opportunities.
From ministry obstacle to ministry opportunity
What if you could put systems in place that equipped your laypeople to help them? What if you held events designed to encourage them? What if you trained your leaders to care for them? What if your preaching connected with them and you knew how to counsel them?
No thanks, I’ll pass
The understandable reaction to these ideas is, “If I can’t handle one Carol, how can our church handle a whole group of them?” I’m not saying it’s easy. But it can be done. There are proven ways to mobilize your laypeople to provide significant care for the Carols, Garys, and Aarons in your church and community. (CareLeader has created a number of these resources.) And when this type of ministry is lay-driven, you still have time to focus on the ministry tasks only you can do and remain faithful to your Ephesians 4 obligation to equip God’s people for ministry.
What’s more? People like Carol, Gary, and Aaron are often most helped by knowing that they’re not alone. Bring them together and they’ll stabilize and care for each other.
Push the help button
Not sure how to put those systems in place? We can help. The CareLeader website is designed to:
Make you aware of the hurting people in your community and give you the information you need to put lay-driven care systems in place to help those people.
Introduce you to other pastors around the world who excel at leading their churches to care for weak and broken people.
Help you communicate more effectively with the suffering people in your preaching and counseling.
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