My pastor, Tom McCoy, started a new sermon series from Nehemiah on Sunday, entitled Broken. He keyed on verse 3: They said to me, “The survivors in the province, who returned from the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem’s wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down. (HCSB)” Nehemiah’s heart was broken when he heard this news.
As a Sunday School teacher or small group teacher, God has called us and our churches have entrusted us to be lay pastors to a small group of people. Undoubtedly, some that we serve are experiencing great trouble and disgrace. The New American Standard translates it distress and reproach.
Having served as a teacher or connect group leader, I remember those calls of distress. Even today, I sometimes receive those calls from friends and staff members who have lost their jobs, who are burden for their children, or struggling in their ministry. Truthfully, most instances I respond with compassion and concern. But in the midst of busy life and my self-centeredness, sometimes, when the call was over, I failed to follow-up in the days ahead with an appropriate response such as a card or a phone call or a gentle word.
May God help us respond appropriately and lead our class to respond appropriately to people who lives are experiencing great trouble and disgrace. When they share with us, may we minister to them in an appropriate manner.
Listen to the sermon for yourself at www.thompsonstationchurch.org.