Hi, my friends. I am so glad you have joined me for this first episode of Let’s Encourage One Another. Today I’m going to take a few moments to introduce you to who I am, what I do, and what you can expect here on the show.
My name is Kari Bartkus and I’m the founder and owner of Love Does That, where I offer handmade encouragement and sympathy gifts, like our Tear Bottle and Mini Tear Bottle Necklace. However, as I have stepped away from a traditional ministry role and dived into this ministry-minded business, I’ve realized that God has called me to do more than offer these gifts for you to pass along to those in your life who are grieving. He actually wants me to use my gifts of teaching and speaking to equip others in learning how to encourage and care for those around us who are hurting.
Because we all have similar questions and concerns, don’t we?
What do I say?
What can I do?
I feel like I’m intruding…
Won’t they ask for help if they need it?
I don’t have the time…
I can’t encourage everybody…
My friends, these are all honest questions, and I want to address each one in turn, but I don’t want these to get in the way of our reaching out to others. Because that’s what often happens. Our worries and fears prevent us from taking action, and then our friends and loved ones go through their season of hurt alone.
I’ve seen this happen time and again throughout my 12 years in church ministry—first as a Communication Team Administrator, then as an Office Manager, and finally as a Children’s Ministries Director. It didn’t matter how big or small the church was, people just seemed to get missed when they were sick or going through a difficult situation.
One of the most influential books for me has been the book Becoming a Stretcher Bearer by Michael Slater. It was a book my grandpa led us through in Sunday school, and it’s all about carrying your hurting friends to Jesus. In that book, Slater writes, “To hurt is bad enough, but to hurt alone destroys people physically, mentally, and spiritually.”
That’s what Love Does That is all about. That’s what this podcast is all about. Finding ways to notice those around us who are hurting, and then compassionately reaching out so they don’t have to go through it alone.
Most of the podcast episodes will be short, solo shows where I offer practical training and tips about encouraging those who are hurting. Later on, I also hope to share interviews with others who will help us figure out what this kind of care looks like, people who can help us do it well and in a way that’s honoring to God.
But I’ve also learned over the years that I don’t have much encouragement to offer to others if I’m not staying close to Jesus. And so I’ll weave in biblical teaching and spiritual practices that will help us abide with Him.
If you want to get a deeper introduction to me and Love Does That, you can check out the podcast episodes below where I’ve guested on other shows. Otherwise, just stick around and you’ll get to know me pretty well. You can also subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss any episodes.
And I want you to know… I’m looking forward to getting to know you, too. Would you do me a favor and find me on Facebook or Instagram?
Until next time…