Today is story day. Aren’t you excited? Grab a seat in the pew and let’s get started.
As all of those who have been reading for a while know my sister in law has cancer. It has been a brutal multi-year battle and the battle still rages on today. She has been back and forth to Houston, TX numerous times to see specialists and get treatments over the last year. Her parents have been right there with her, as well.
This has created a hole in my in-laws attending church regularly at their home church.
What it HASN’T done is cause them to lose faith. It hasn’t stopped the church from caring. And most importantly, it hasn’t stopped their pastor from caring.
That last one is where we will focus today.
Pastoral care. This seems like a no-brainer, but it is more rare now than ever before, just not at my in-laws church.
A week or so ago, I received a text from my father in law regarding two things this pastor did while my in laws were in Houston with my sister-in-law.
The first text was a photo of the pew that my in-laws normally sit in on Sundays at their church. It is empty. The next text reads “From my pastor James Hunt: ‘Each time I pass this pew I think of you and pray for your family’ ”
How cool is that? I was impressed with the personal touch that was included with this and initially thought this was a great way for a pastor to reach out and make sure someone he is caring for in his church doesn’t feel alone.
And then it got better…
The next text was of this pastor’s young daughter sending a personal direct message to my sister-in-law letting her know that she is being prayed for and sending love across to her.
You would think that would be enough. That would be an acceptable level of outreach by a pastor who has an entire flock to care for. And you would be right!
But there is more.
While I am conversing with my father in law over text one more recent morning, he sends me this message
Now I am convinced that this pastor gets it. He really understands that being a ministry leader is more than just standing on stage and delivering a message on Sunday morning. He understands that he has a responsibility to more than just his board or elders or whoever holds power in his church.
He has a responsibility to tend to his flock, just as any good shepherd would.
This pastor knows how to do this, while others struggle with the personal touch needed to be an effective and fulfilling pastor. We need more of this from our ministry leaders than we do a good Sunday sermon.
I am not trying to minimize the need for good Sunday services, but Jesus, himself, was more about relationships than gathering stadiums of crowds to give a message.
It is the small things that someone does as a leader that make them great, not the big speeches and flair.
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NASB