WHAT WORKS FOR ME… in Helping Those Who are Grieving

i)        Matt Lombard, Pastor of Sandpoint, ID church in the Upper Columbia Conference: When I get that call informing me of a death I realize that every situation is unique so I PRAY “Lord, be with ___ right now and help me to best know how to minister to them”.  If I am not able, for some reason, to go to the loved one(s) immediately, I call to pray with them and set up an appointment to visit them.  Nothing is more powerful than the words that bring hope and comfort in the Bible.  Therefore I always try to share a passage or two such as I Thessalonians 4.

ii)       Matthew Gamble, Assoc. Pastor of 24/Seven Ministry Center, Seattle, WA – Washington Conference:  Have you ever had a strong impression to call someone?  A few weeks ago I could not get away from the thought that I had to call a particular family from our church.  After several attempts I finally got through.  “Hi this is Pastor Matthew calling just to see how you and your family are doing.  Over the last two days your family has been laid on my heart and I thought I would see how everything was going.” Even though I know that God works in mysterious ways, I was floored when the lady at the other end of the line replied, “My brother was the pilot flying the plane that went down in Tennessee.  We have just returned from the funeral for him and the memorial service for all those in the plane.”  I had no idea that there was any connection between this lady and the recently deceased pilot.  Immediately “Super Pastor” came to the rescue with words of  condolence flying out of my mouth.  After a few moments passed I stopped to listen and it was then that ministry truly began to happen.  You see not only did the voice on the other end have the opportunity to share her experience, but she also began to speak a language of faith that was a testimony to me.  As I listened to the tragedy that this young lady had endured with such strong faith I realized it was I who had been ministered to.  Maybe it’s time for “Super Pastor” to be willing to listen more often.

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