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Four Steps to Responsibility

A woman whose husband left her (and the ministry) recently began attending our church. Shattered, she is casting about for emotional moorings to help her regain equilibrium. With a ministry background, she knows how to minister to people; she just doesn't know how to do so in the midst of her pain and confusion.

Every follower of Christ is in a continual process of restoration; everyone is messed up and in need of God's healing. But at certain stages of our brokenness, we're not able to serve others. How can I help this woman back into leadership? I see the process in four stages.

1. Love, without much advice.

Personal disasters usually bring a person to the point of asking, "Does anyone care about me?" So I begin by saying, "I care about you, and so does God."

2. Invite people to "little involvements."

These don't call for much emotional fortitude and don't put people on the line. If people can't finish the job, it won't be a disaster. The service may be as simple as cutting ...

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