Jesus put an enormous effort into caring for the sick throughout His ministry. Here’s a few ideas on how you can do the same.
Sick At Home: How To Care For The Sick
Jesus consistently ministered to people in the midst of their sickness. Though this thought is simple, it’s noteworthy to reflect upon. Too often we perceive the activity of our Savior within the gospels as ordinary because it has become so familiar to us. How can we nonchalantly read accounts of Jesus healing the blind, cleansing lepers, casting out demons, and curing people of a plethora of other ailments?
Even more so, how awe inspiring is it that John shared that “there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25 ESV)
Jesus did not come into the world to serve the elite of the day while reclining in ornate palaces and feasting upon lavish meals. Instead, Jesus came into the world and spent most of His time in the slums, laying His hands on men and women who had been cast out of society and whose bodies were withering away.
None of the other religious leaders of the day were doing this, for they had associated sickness with sin and often looked down upon those who were ill. Jesus, on the other hand, approached these men and women because they had great need. He went beyond serving their physical ailments and addressed their spiritual needs, as well. Jesus did this over and over again throughout His ministry, making His prioritization of the sick one of the chief pillars of His activity.
In our day, many of us do a terrific job ministering to those within our midst that are seriously sick. We know that people are in great need of spiritual encouragement when cancer or a major surgery rolls around. Far more frequent, however, is the occasion when those within your congregation miss a Sunday or two because they or their children are at home with a much less severe illness.
How does your church minister to these people? Even if they only miss one Sunday service due to a bad cold, chances are they will go nearly 2 weeks without any sort of Christian encouragement or fellowship. These folks need Jesus, too, and your church has an awesome opportunity to emulate Christ in ministering to them. Below, I’ve listed a few thoughts on how your ministry can do just that.
Thoughtfully Track Them
There are number of different ways that your church can keep track of who makes it (and doesn’t make it) to your service every weekend. Regardless of the software or method that you use, taking time to do this will give your staff the opportunity to reach out to those who might miss a Sunday or two, see what’s going on in their lives, and serve them accordingly.
Drop In For a Visit
On your way to the office or on your way back from lunch, try to get in the habit of stopping by the homes of those who are sick in your midst. Even taking 5 minutes once a week to check in on someone, drop off a cup of soup, and pray with them, can mean more than you know.
Invite Them to Stay Involved
In our day and age, email is still a great tool to check in with those who had to stay home the prior Sunday. It doesn’t take much time to create a weekly template for this purpose. Write them and tell them that they were missed. Share the scripture that was preached on and perhaps even include a link to the video of your service from a few days back. This weekly discipline will encourage folks who are away to stay involved and keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, even when they feel crummy.
Jesus cared a great deal for the sick in His day. He always took the time to find those who were going through a trial, whether large or small, and minister to them. Take the time to follow Christ’s example and be intentional to serve those in your midst who are sick. Jesus has called you to shepherd His flock, go forth and do so.
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