As I drove over to the home of one of our church members, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed. What in the world could I say? I had already shared every comforting Bible verse that I could think of. As a pastor, how was I supposed to care for the family? After three years of trying to have a child, the family had just lost another baby during pregnancy.
Uncertain of what to say, my heart raced as I knocked on the door. To my surprise, one of the church members opened the door. He greeted me warmly, thanked me for coming, and said that the husband and wife were in the back room.
As I walked through the house to the back room, I realized that four or five people from the home group were all busy helping to take care of the family. Two of the ladies who had brought over meals for the family were busy cleaning up the kitchen. One of the men was helping the family by running errands. Another person had taken responsibility for answering the phone calls of concerned family and friends.
It was heart wrenching to see the pain and suffering that the family was going through. But as I prayed for the family, I was so thankful for the kindness of the body of Christ that helped to serve this family in practical ways.
Because they were part of a small group in our church, pastoral care came to them not just from me, but through a group of loving friends, each using the gifts and abilities God had given them to serve a member of the Body that was hurting.
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body” [And] “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (I Cor 12:12-13, 26)
Part of helping the church share the load, so that the pastor isn’t overwhelmed by all of the pastoral needs of the church comes from teaching the Body of Christ to function as a Body connected together, caring for one another.
TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO CONSIDER SOME WAYS THAT YOU COULD EQUIP THE CHURCH TO CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER.