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Ministering to Widows (Phase 2)
In case you missed it, I had a surprisingly popular post a while back on ministering to widows.
Though God stresses the need to care for both widows and orphans throughout the Bible, I think the first chapter of James says it beautifully:
Do not merely listen to the Word…do what it says… Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…
In my “phase 1” post, I gave you an outline for a new ministry idea – precisely what my team and I submitted to our local church board to begin it in our own church. It involved young women loving on and spending time with widows in our local church body.
Phase 2 adds young men into the scenario! By no means does this one have to be a separate phase — if implemented correctly, they could easily be combined and launched together. However, due to the many logistics of getting a program started in a large church, my team decided to maintain the way I’m presenting it to you.
Basically, once relationships (and hopefully dear friendships!) are established between the young and elderly ladies, the vision for this second phase is to use the gifts and talents of the young guys to further bless the widows. Of course, I realize there are some girls who would rather clean out gutters and some guys who would rather drink tea and chat, but please permit me a generalization allowance…
Many of the widows in our own congregation still own and live in their own houses. Home ownership comes with a lot of work and constant maintenance! Here’s where the men come in!
For those beginning the ministry based on my encouragement in my prior post, here are some additional, tangible ways that could help your new elderly friend out:
- clean out gutters
- rake leaves
- shovel snow
- fix broken porch railings
- clean hard-to-reach windows
- inspect roof for leaking or other damage
- cut down dead tree branches
- mow lawns
- paint things that need painting
- replace hard to reach light bulbs
- furniture rearranging
- test/change out smoke/carbon monoxide detectors
- remove dead plants or add new ones
- install new appliances
- change car oil or other vehicle maintenance
Of course there are myriad more examples but hopefully this type of list can give you an idea of things to watch for.
This is all easy to chit chat about, but remember “widows are people, too.” The last thing we need to do is intrude into someone else’s private life and force help on them when they don’t need or want it! Let the Spirit guide these new friendships, allow your church leaders to monitor and handle certain aspects of the ministry plan (you might be surprised how much they actually know about dynamics of personalities within the congregation!) and you will naturally discover ways in which your new widowed friends would appreciate assistance.
From what I understand, many guys in their 20s and 30s (especially singles) don’t have as many opportunities to serve as the ladies. Whether that statistic is the truth for your church or not, this is still a good option for ministry!
I don’t know who you are – a pastor, a teenager, a new Christian, male or female — but my prayer is this gives you one more idea to get yourself plugged in and to be obedient to the call we all have to care for our dear ladies who have lost their husbands.
If you initiate this ministry idea in your own church, please tell me about it! Each situation, each team and each set of personalities will differ, causing logistical changes as well. I’d love to hear how it works for you.