This is the second post of a two part series that Pastor Brad Couick has shared with us. If you missed the first post, follow this link to read “Pastoring the Sufferer.”
In my last post, I listed four truths about suffering that God has shown me. In this post, I want to discuss three ways I’m learning to pastor through seasons of suffering.
Grieve with your People. This basic concept does two things. First, it lets your people know you care, and second, it increases your love for your people. As a pastor, God gives you a special love for the flock He has called you to lead. What hurts them will hurt you. And if you don’t express that grief, it will lead to a hard heart that will damage the ministry God has called you to.
Pray with your People. Even if their suffering may appear trivial to you, I can assure you it’s not just trivial to your people. Praying with them in person is great, but if your schedule doesn’t allow for it, praying with them over the phone works just as well. I’ve done this and received some of the most sincere “thanks” from one simple prayer.
Preach to your People. As a pastor, it’s your God-given assignment to deliver a specific message to a specific people for a specific time. I have found even in a small congregation of only 20-25 people, it’s difficult to speak to each person one-on-one and encourage them through their suffering. What better place to do this than the pulpit?
Inevitably, there are many more ways to pastor through seasons of suffering, and my list is by no means exhaustive, but these three ways have proven to be very effective in my life as a pastor of God’s people.