Earlier this week Connie and I had the opportunity to attend a pastor's retreat in Jackson, Wyoming at the Jackson Hole Bible College. The college is a one year school where students are given two semesters of concentrated teaching on the Bible and Theology. The retreat is small - about a dozen pastors and their wives attend - which makes for an intimate setting. There is a wonderful time of sharing, worship and discussion - and the food is 5 star! They really make us feel special.
This year's retreat reminded me again that life and ministry can be hard. One couple at the retreat, recently retired, was experiencing some very serious health issues that could be life-threatening. Their plans for a "trouble free" retirement were not working out as planned. A pastor - with three small children - had been asked by leadership to begin "looking for a new church." Another pastor who had been at his church for over 30 years serving faithfully was having severe issues with a staff member that threatened to divide and split the church. I listened and could identify with a number of struggles my dear brothers and sisters were going through. Earlier today, I prayed for each by name.
Paul in Galatians 6:2 says this: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." As you think of those in need, first and foremost pray for them.
Second, why not send them a note of encouragement.
Third, do something practical to help. Offer to take them a meal or give them a visit. If money is an issue, let us know as a church how we might be able to help - we have a benevolent fund to help with financial needs.
Finally, realize that it's just a matter of time before you yourself will be in need - so treat others the way you would want to be treated.