Healing is Possible: Practical Help for Leaders to Support the Hurting

Article recommendation: “A Step Toward Healing” by Max Lucado

 

We live in a world of hurting people.  Everywhere we turn, there is someone facing a new struggle, a new trial, and problems as never before.  As church leaders, the people in our congregation turn to us for help.  They expect us to have all the answers.  But sometimes we don’t know what to say.  We don’t know how to guide them. Because we’ve not walked in their shoes, we feel ill-equipped to be of any real use.

Recovery and healing are possible, but we need to lead the way and be a source of safety and protection for those who need our help the most. World-renown author Max Lucado is no exception.  He, too, faced trials and abuse at a young age that colored the way he viewed the world. Thankfully for Lucado, he was able to recover from his hurts and become a resource for others who are hurting just as he was.  The world was once again shocked at the revelation that a Christian literary hero was the victim of childhood abuse. We are discovering as time goes by, however, that abuse is something a majority of the population has faced at one time in their life.  

In his article, “A Step Toward Healing,” Lucado recounts his talk from the GC2 Summit at Wheaton College where he attempts to outline practical help for victims of abuse and other types of emotional pain.  He points readers to Jesus and His love for humankind as the way we can come alongside the members of our congregations who are hurting. He asks for forgiveness for the times he was less than sensitive and prays that God would show mercy to all those who want to treat others with more respect.

As his top recommendation to leaders who are helping their people, Lucado suggests getting right into the middle of our people’s tender emotions with them.  We need to show up for these people when they are struggling and point them to the Living God our Healer.  His words carry more weight once we know that he is a victim. He knows what helps those in pain because he carried his own pain for so many years.  Perhaps we have also experienced pain and suffering. May we use those times of trouble to feel more accurately what those in our care are feeling.

As a pastor or even a lay leader, we are called on to help bring healing.  Lucado points us to Jesus and gives us hope that there is a purpose in the pain. Our people can truly find what they need when they look to the love of the Father.

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