Passing On the Comfort You Receive: 2 Corinthians 1:3

I’ve been writing for the last few weeks about the nine ministry teams that comprise the Care Ministry here at The Crossing. This is my third and final post in this series.

I’ve been trying to spotlight the Care Team Ministry for a few key reasons.

In my first post (found here), I noted that there are a number of resources available at The Crossing to those of us who need a helping hand, a caring prayer partner or a way to connect with people who understand what they are going through; we will all go through rough seasons, and it’s important to know that others are there when you need them.

In my second post (found here), I wanted to encourage you to consider using your natural gifts and abilities to serve in a way that blesses others; this kind of service tends to end up blessing us as well, and certainly deepens our faith.

This week, I want to again highlight three Care Teams, and offer one more way to find your place serving others within God’s kingdom. Sometimes, life itself will provide you with wisdom you can use to bless and comfort others down the road.

My husband and I currently serve in The Crossing’s separation and divorce recovery ministry. We both were married once before, and have both been through a divorce, so we completely understand the emotions, challenges, sin, selfishness and deep pain that come along with the break-up of the one earthly relationship we thought would last forever. Having lived through that experience, we are now able to come alongside others as they find themselves in the midst of separation and/or divorce. We can offer the comfort and encouragement we know those folks need, because we’ve been in their shoes and have walked down that long and lonely path.

We also have found that as we began to serve in this way, God saw fit to redeem (in our words) “our past sin and stupidity” by giving us opportunity – through the class we lead and the ministry we work within – to warn others away from making many of the poor choices we each made as single adults raising children, dating, and trying to follow Christ after divorce.

Like the divorce ministry, there are care teams that exist because other people have lived through experiences and learned to lean more wholly on God ­ and they now want to come alongside others and share this gift with them.

The ministries I want to highlight for you today are, in my opinion, among those kinds of ministries:

  • Prayer Ministry: Did you know that there is a large team of faithful intercessors regularly lifting up the cares, anxieties and needs of The Crossing community in prayer? This team regularly receives prayer requests from the church body (through e-mails sent directly to the prayer team leaders, written on talk-back cards during services, or through concerned friends) and spends time quietly beseeching God on the behalf of those folks who ask for it. These folks also faithfully staff the Prayer Room on Sunday mornings, making themselves available to pray with you one-on-one. They know prayer is a vital ingredient to a close relationship with God, and not only do they want to pray with you and for you, they want to encourage you to deepen your faith through prayer.
  • Single Moms Ministry: Did you know that if you are a single mother attempting to raise your children in the church – and live out your own life of faith in these challenging circumstances – there is a small team of individuals who are committed to helping network with and support you? These folks recognize that the job of raising children in a single-parent home can be exhausting, and single mothers can often feel alone in their struggles. This team is making efforts to ensure that this group of women within our church knows they are not alone.
  • Graceful Wait: Did you know that we have a small team of devoted individuals committed to ministering to those dealing with the pain of infertility or the grief of infant death? This team is relatively new, but growing in its support of those who are grieving the loss of children or the dream of a family. It meets monthly and is actively building a community of believers who have suffered in the same way, and who are now comforting and supporting those who find themselves in the midst of this same trial.

I know that if someone had told me back in 1998 that I was being equipped to serve other people by going through the incredibly lonely, frightening and painful experience of divorce, followed by years of single parenting, I would not have appreciated that piece of information. I couldn’t get my eyes off of myself long enough to consider that what I was living through might help others someday.

But 13 years later, that’s exactly what is happening. I firmly believe Christ had several good purposes in mind when He allowed me to live through that season of my life (Romans 8:28). He has now given me a heart to share with others what I have found in Him – by comforting those who find themselves walking the same path I’ve walked.

I encourage you to do the same. Consider your history, and the things you’ve lived through. Consider what God has taught you about your need for Him as you went through those things, whatever the details are…and then consider if you would be willing to comfort others with the knowledge with which you were comforted by your Great God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

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Additional Care Team Ministries at The Crossing:

  • Funeral Care: This team provides support and encourage to families experiencing the loss of a loved one.
  • Fix-It: This team provides minor car repairs, home maintenance jobs or yard-work for individuals during times of high stress, crisis or financial set-back.
  • Home Care: This team provides assistance with a variety of basic needs, including childcare, help with laundry or cleaning, to individuals after surgery, illness, childbirth or other acute life experiences.
  • Hospital Visitation: This team visits individuals in the hospital, providing encouragement and prayer.
  • Meals Ministry: This team provides meals for people during times of high stress or crisis.
  • New Moms Ministry: This team is a support to families with new babies in a variety of practical and relational ways.

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