Saturday I attended our annual Presbytery gathering STEPS, where the whole presbytery comes together at MPPC for workshops, worship and fellowship.
One class I attended discussed what to say and not to say in challenging situations. Too often, even though we care, we don’t say or do anything because we are afraid we will say or do the WRONG thing. In a congregation like ours that is so good about reaching out, this workshop would be helpful. I am planning on getting the PowerPoint and resources to share with our nurture team and with our elders.
In the meantime, I am going to post on the bulletin board some of the ways we can help others, so if you are a DOER, like me, check out the EMPATHY MENU. It gives you suggestions of practical things you can do to help others instead of just saying “call me if you need anything.”
But here is the challenge for us—we are great at helping others, but we are not always so open to others helping us. When someone goes in for surgery or overnight at the hospital, our nurture team wants to bring a meal. But often folks will say they don’t NEED a meal. So sometimes we try to deliver a devotion book, or at least send a card. When you quickly tell someone who wants to help that you don’t NEED anything, you deprive them of the opportunity to “be with you” in this challenging time.
A few years ago several of our folks were involved in the ACTS 16:5 program where we were encouraged to practice the “with me” principle—the idea that we don’t have to be alone in ministry.
This week some good friends in church went to dinner with us and even though we invited them, they paid the tab; I did not expect that but I appreciated their gesture and I have learned to be a gracious receiver of gifts. So sometime, when you don’t know what to say, the answer is say, “thank you.”
I hope you will look at the list on the bulletin board, and I hope you will be intentional about responding to the folks on our prayer list in the bulletin each week—a short “thinking of you” will let them know you care.
There are so many times when I certainly DON’T know what to say, but I hope I never fall into the trap of not saying anything.
Thank you for your participation in our ministry.