Ministry Today | Serving and empowering church leaders

Hearing the Hurting

QUOTE: "It’s important for us [pastors] to be in touch with the people we are speaking to and speak in a way that is understandable and bring the relevant, powerful, life-transforming message of the Word of God to them. It’s just something I have interest in. I want to know what people are thinking, what they are facing, what they are grappling with. … One thing I’ve become very aware of in recent days is just how many suffering people there are out there, people that are hurting. It’s been said that if you preach to people who are suffering, you will never lack for an audience. There certainly is a large audience of people who are in pain today." —Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., on how pain has recently changed his approach to ministry after 20 years of his evangelistic Harvest Crusades. Last July Laurie lost his 33-year-old son, Christopher, who served as art director for the church. "It is the most traumatic event of my life," Laurie says now. "It’s changed everything about me. You can’t help but see everything a little bit differently when somebody this close to you dies unexpectedly, especially your child. A parent never wants to outlive their child. I’ve become aware of how many others out there who have lost children, lost loved ones." [christianexaminer.com, 7/27/09]

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