A note from Kelly King: I definitely don’t consider myself an expert when it comes to knowing how to best minister to women who are hurting. But, I still want to develop a network of women that do know how to respond to those in crisis as well as become more educated and empathetic to those who are dealing with deep hurts. In today’s article, Kaye gives some vital strategies any leader can put in place to make a difference in your ministry.
In our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in our communities of faith and across the globe, the one commonality—what unites us as human beings—is the experience of pain. For some, it is a brief season, for others it seems to be a calling, and some have never and will never know a life without pain. Finding resources to help those who are hurting should be easier than it is. Having a strategy within our churches to help those who are hurting is no longer just a nice idea; it is or at least should be at the forefront of our thinking and strategic planning.
It is my prayer that your church has a robust ministry for caring for the hurting. If it is lacking or if you are just getting started, here are three strategies to grow and develop as you care for the hurting:
1. Pastoral Care. Most churches have pastoral care departments. If yours does not, begin to pray about how to develop one. If your church has a pastoral care department, that’s wonderful! Pray for that team! They are living, breathing burden-bearers and need our support and prayers. If you lead a women’s ministry, consider creating a care team of women for women.
2. Referrals and Resources. Every women’s ministry and pastoral care department MUST have a well-developed list of resources and referrals for people in pain. It will take a good bit of effort, but it will be well worth the investment to vet services and counselors in your area that provide care.
3. Caring through small group community. Our church is committed to the concept of life-giving small groups. We believe that life change happens best in the context of relationship. I would add that caring for and helping those who are hurting happens best in the context of community. I believe pastoral care happens best and begins first in the small group setting. For this reason, in our church we are passionate about connecting women in small groups. Done well, you should be able to share your story without judgment and find support and help when seasons of pain come.
There are so many effective strategies for caring for those who are hurting or in a season of pain. In my opinion, these three are foundational. If you are looking for ways to strengthen your leadership skills in ministry to women, consider finding a LifeWay You Lead training event and sign up! If you lead a team, bring them along. You will be so glad you did!
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. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.