In John 15:2 Jesus says,” this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Loving and caring for one another is not just a pastor’s job---it’s something Jesus calls us all to do.
My life like yours has had many ups and downs. At one point I found myself coming out of an extended dysfunctional work experience, that started a slide into depression. My family moved across state for a new beginning, my marriage disintegrated, my new job fell apart, and my mother died suddenly within months of my father’s retirement. Where was God, why is He abandoning me now? This was just one of the questions I agonized over. It was at this point that I truly began to realize God’s love for me. When I could no longer recognize God in the world around me, He began to help me see and recognize the people He brought me into my life to be Jesus with skin on. When I just needed to unload He sent people to listen. When I needed help processing He sent people who asked good questions. When I needed to know someone cared He sent people to help carry my burdens. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Do you have a burden you’re carrying that is crushing you? Are you struggling with the weight of a crisis, trauma, or loss in your life? God has placed us within a family, a community of people following Christ through every day and moment of our lives. Within this community we can find great support, care and accountability through small groups. Story after story can be told of how Christ shows up in people’s lives through their small groups. If you’re in a place where you would like to connect to a small group stop by the Connect Center on Sunday morning and someone there will be happy to talk to you about a small group. You can also explore this by searching for groups on our Group finder.
Christ caring for people through people is also the motto of Stephen Ministry. A Stephen Ministers role is to bring God's love into the lives of people who are going through a difficult time or experiencing a crisis. What do Stephen ministers do? They listen, care, support, encourage, and pray with and for a person who is hurting. And in the midst of this confidential,1 to 1 caring relationship, God's healing love comes pouring through.
If someone you know is facing a crisis -- large or small -- and could benefit from the caring presence of a Stephen Minister, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right back to you.
My understanding of God’s love for me was changed forever by the people who showed up to be Jesus with skin on in my life. Our Stephen ministers are ready to care for you.