All pastors live squarely on a fault line. The question is not if a crisis will come but when. Even though I can't schedule them, I can, like residents of San Francisco, learn to be prepared.
The day I candidated at Glen Ellyn Bible Church, following the Sunday morning service, we were having lunch at the home of the chairman of the board of elders.
Suddenly, in the middle of the meal, the phone rang, and when our host returned, his face was pale.
He quickly gave us the facts: the son of one of the church families, a college-age man who had attended church that morning, had left the service early, gone home, and apparently taken his own life.
We dropped our forks and drove together to the grieving family's home. As others gave comfort to the family, I listened and avoided treading on their grief.
As the afternoon went on, my thoughts turned to the evening service. What I had planned to preach would now be out of place. This was a crisis not only for the immediate family but ...1