Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west.
D. H. Lawrence
There's an old story about a boy who found a turtle that had withdrawn into its shell. He tried to pry the turtle's head out with a stick. His uncle saw what was happening and said, "Not that way." He took the turtle inside and set him on the hearth. In a few minutes, as it began to get warm, the turtle stuck out its head and feet and calmly crawled toward the boy.
People, like turtles, can't be forced to open up. But in the right environment, they often choose to do so. Warmed by kindness and concern, they sometimes relax, and often wind up coming your way.
These are some of the ways pastors create an atmosphere conducive to personal change:
Dignify Pain and Suffering
Many people request help but resist it when it is offered. To be more precise, they want the pastor to take away their pain, but ...1