A note from Kelly King: Have you ministered to someone who is hurting and wondered if you’ve said the right things or if you’ve really been helpful? I certainly have! In today’s article, Kaye gives us three powerful points when relating to someone who is hurting and three questions we should always ask ourselves when ministering to someone in crisis.
There is a question bubble that hovers over my head (if one could see such bubbles) whenever I’m talking to someone in pain or crisis that says, “Is this helping?” I am consistently asking the Lord for my ministry to hurting women to be useful and effective. You too? I have come to learn, as I’m sure you have as well, that when we offer what we do in the name and power of Jesus, He supernaturally makes it effective. He alone is able to truly pour out comfort, to carry burdens, to break chains and cycles of sin, and to surround us with His peace and His presence.
Regardless of the specifics of a person’s story or situation, it is important to have an overarching theme or goal in mind to guide you in being helpful, not harmful. The Pastoral Care ministry I serve in has owned a theme I adopt as my own in every conversation I have with someone hurting.
The theme or goal in every situation is this:
- To normalize pain: So many women keep secrets about their stories and pain because they think they are the only one who has faced this situation. It is a familiar strategy of the enemy to isolate us from one another and cause us to feel alone and abandoned. He convinces us that if we tell our truth we will be rejected and judged. Sadly, this has happened, which only gives fuel to his lies. Let’s commit together right now to be safe, trusted, empathetic, caring listeners. Let’s choose to normalize pain in our sphere of influence.
- To crush shame: Godly sorrow over our sin, situation, or wounds is the trademark of a loving, merciful, grace-filled God. Shame and contempt are the fingerprints of the enemy of your soul. We must eradicate shame whenever and wherever we hear it or see it. Let’s commit together right now to crush shame.
- To deliver hope: Jesus Christ is the hope of the world. He is the anchor for the soul. Our hope is from Him, through Him, in Him, and IS Him. Let’s commit together right now to deliver hope into every situation and every story.
Is this helping? I hope so. How do you know if you are achieving your goals of normalizing pain, crushing shame, and delivering hope? How do you really know if the care you are giving is effective?
Here are three questions you can use to measure the effectiveness of your care ministry:
1. What is the person’s level of ownership in the problem they are presenting? It is concerning if someone is not willing or able to take ownership in the situation, and trying to help them will be a frustration for you or your team if they are not.
2. Is the person able to find hope through a relationship with God? This is your starting point for knowing how to direct them to next steps.
3. What is the person’s level of familial and community support? We all need a support, and it is especially important when we are facing a struggle or difficulty or in a season of pain. If they are without support, lean in to other ministries in your church to help or draw from your referral resources.
As you lead out in ministering to hurting women, I am praying for you. As I write this, I am praying that the God of all comfort will use you in a way that is enormously useful and effective. For His glory alone!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.