Leading with Love: How to Minister to Hurting People?
There is one thing that is true, leaders in the church today must learn to become all things to all people. What does that mean? It means that you must be able to make personal adjustments in order to properly engage with people from all walks of life and experiences. The truth of the matter is that not everyone in the church is happy, dancing, and shouting. There are some people in the church who are hurting, and what matters most to them is how you minister to them or meet their needs.
As leaders we must know that the only way to minister to a person that’s hurting and lead them to a better place is with love. How can one lead with love? The leader themselves must live with love, despite your feelings about the situation. It’s not up to us to fix the situation, but be there for someone who is going through a challenging time. In other words, LISTEN more than you talk. Then as a leader remember to:
1. Be Present-if not physically let them know that you care.
2. Active Listen-Give affirmations that let them know that you hear them.
3. Be Silent-Don’t talk too much, listen attentively.
4. Comfort-Be empathetic, the people need to know that you genuinely care.
5. Encourage-Be positive, no matter how bad it seems restore their hope.
6. Pray-Always go to God and intercede on their behalf, immediately.
7. Offer Resources if needed-Know who can assist in your community.
8. Walk along side of them-Friendship and fellowship matters most in tough times.
9. Move by the Holy Spirit- Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, not your feelings.
11. Follow up-Always check back with them to see how things are going.
We must all be reminded that, Jesus provided leaders with the pattern for how to minister to wounded people. “He came, not to receive service, but to give it” (Matt 20:28). Christians are to minister to others out of their devotion to Christ and their love for others, whether the other people are believers or unbelievers. Jesus’ goal was to heal the broken-hearted, the ones who are troubled, those who are sick, and those who are hurting. In life, we will always have people who are in distress and they will need someone who loves them in spite of the mess they may be in.
Luke 4:18 states “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted…” Jesus demonstrated that his heart was for people who are hurting and suffering. What about yours?
~Min. Jerell Wesley