True story: At a church business meeting the Pastor was told by a deacon, “I have a knife and I plan to use it on you tonight.” Then another deacon opened the door to the church and said, “See that ambulance? I plan to put so much pressure on you tonight they take you out and put you in it.”
God willing, I desire to find hurting and struggling ministers like this brother to help and encourage them. I am calling this endeavor Redemption Ministries. My observation and experience is that many ministers are hurting and wounded, as are churches. Many churches are ailing because the ministers and staff are ailing physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If God will allow, I want to find these ministers and become a “Onesiphorus” to them (2 Tim 1:16-17). I also desire (GW) to help and encourage congregations that are troubled.
My thinking is that if God would allow me to help, support, encourage, and strengthen His under-shepherds (Ministers)… then they would better be able to do the same thing for the sheep of His pasture (Congregants)… that would result in healthier congregations… by which God is glorified.
I’m asking God to allow me to bring meaningful resources to ministers (And possibly their congregations) for comfort, healing, and restoration. In Scripture it is called “speaking the truth in love” (Eph 4:15). There will be massive doses of encouragement… affirmation… comfort… counsel… support… prayer… and practical helps I am pulling together that will be on a website soon (GW).
Why this ministry? Because I have been in difficult situations during my 23 years of pastoral ministry. Most pastors I know struggle without adequate support and resources. I have struggled alone, wept bitterly, been confused, questioned my calling, not slept, been depressed, and deeply wounded by the words and actions of others in congregations. I know what it is like to make mistakes and beat myself up because of them… AND have God comfort me through them all! Thus I want to live out what Paul wrote in 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, 4 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. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 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. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.