Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Let’s Encourage One Another.
Before we dive into today’s episode, I want to pause and practice the spiritual discipline of celebration with you. Because this marks the one-year anniversary of the Let’s Encourage One Another podcast. Can you believe it?
It’s so easy for us to sometimes overlook the good, the milestones, the blessings, the graces that we have been given. We’re focused on what needs to get finished each day or whatever goal we are trying to reach next.
So right here, right now, I just want to mindful of this milestone, not because in and of itself it’s anything too incredibly special, but because it has allowed me to connect with so many of you. To hear your stories. To pray with you. To give you the support you need as you care for those around you who are hurting. And to see how God is working in each of our lives.
To celebrate with you, I’m offering you 50% off any digital resource in our shop. We have a devotional, a retreat guide, a workshop on Scripture writing, and the Courageous Care Masterclass. Just go to lovedoesthat.org/shop and use coupon code “oneyear”—all one word, all spelled out—when you check out. This coupon will expire on March 31, so don’t wait too long.
Okay, so on to today’s episode. I am going to be sharing with you a session I led at the Women’s Ministries Conference offered by Small Church Summits. Many of you might know Laurie Acker, who does such a phenomenal job putting these conferences on, and each time there’s a different focus: children’s ministries, women’s ministries, worship, and so on.
Last year I spoke about how to help hurting kids in your church (which you can find back in episode 12), and this year I spoke specifically to women’s ministries leaders about ministering to the gals in their church who were going through a difficult season, such as grief, depression, anxiety, or caring for an aging parent. And with Laurie’s permission, I am going to share that session with you.
This is a true heart-to-heart conversation. I want so desperately to help leaders understand what it might be like for someone they know to be going through a trying time. Because so often, as leaders, we can get distracted by numbers of people who are showing up, if we’re being effective or not, and on and on. But I know, deep down, it’s because we care so much about those under our leadership and care.
My friend, we as leaders struggle when we see you hurting and we want to help you, we want to come alongside of you, but we don’t know how because we don’t see you at church. Many times, you can’t come for a good reason. And so this is my encouragement for leaders to find ways to reach out to you and support you. I give them some tough love at times.
But here’s what we need from you: if you are the one who is hurting, it would be so incredibly helpful for your women’s ministries leader or your small group leader to hear from you how they can support you. So as you are able and ready to share that with her, would you do that? Tell her if you need meals. Let her know if you’d appreciate cards. Share specific needs you have, or if you’d prefer to go out for coffee one on one because you’re not ready to join the group quite yet. Can you consider doing that for her?
If you are listening and you’re not a women’s ministries leader or small group leader, I still invite you into this conversation because I try my best to offer some perspective about what it might be like for someone you care about who is hurting. And I give some specific questions to ask at the end about how you can support her in this season of loss or hurt.
As we enter into that session, I’d like to read a couple of verses from Psalm 10 (NIV): “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand… You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.”
If you are the one who is hurting today, whose world just got turned upside down, know that God sees you. And He hears you. You are not alone.
[Session transcript not available]
- Shop Now: Save 50% on all digital resources, including the Courageous Care Masterclass, now through March 31, 2022, with coupon code “oneyear”
- Episode 12: Caring for Hurting Kids at Your Church: 3 Powerful But Simple Things You Can Do
- Free Resource: Breaking Through the Fear of Reaching Out
- The Creative Little Church (Small Church Summits) with Laurie Acker
INTERESTED IN WRITTEN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION?
I’d be honored to walk with you through a difficult season and help you discover God’s presence and work in your life.