Next generation leaders often forget that they are not only called to invest in kids, teens, or college students but also pastor the volunteers and families connected with the ministry they lead. I know that can make us uneasy when we think about helping other adults in times of crisis when we are most at ease working with the next generation but trust me when I say that God has equipped you to help people in times of crisis.
It may make you nervous to think about helping people in crisis but trust me when I remind you that it makes us all nervous.
Times of crisis (sickness, death, financial problems, family issues, or addiction) are difficult for everyone involved even if you are a pastor on the outside trying to figure out how to help. We want to help but many times we are not sure how to help or how to make a difference from our leadership role.
Every crisis situation is different but here are four reminders when helping people through seasons of struggle…
- Pray before you try to help // Before you rush in to help make sure and invite God to bring wisdom and help guide you and help the people involved. What God can do is so far beyond any way we can help.
- Listen more than you talk // Ask questions, hear the pain, and listen. Many times people in crisis need our listening ear more than our advice.
- Be available // Try to respond to people in crisis as soon as you can. Pick up their phone calls. Respond to that text. Make sure they know they are not alone.
- Inform your team about situation // When someone on your volunteer team is facing a crisis make sure and let other staff and key volunteers know so they can also encourage and help if possible. Sometimes privacy demands this not to happen but most of the time keep people in the loop.
- Check in through the process // Working through crisis is a process so make sure and check in with people through their journey. Texts and Facebook messaging make this such an easy process. Just check in.
- Connect others to help encourage // So many times people in crisis need to connect with other people who have faced that issue. Be a connector!