Spring 2017

Beauty for the Bruised and Broken

Ministering to those in a health crisis

by Diane J. McDougall

How many people in your church are battling depression or have been diagnosed with a mental illness? Which families routinely stay home from Sunday services because the weight of caring for a loved one has completely drained them? Who is forced to choose between ordering a medical test, paying the heating bill or buying birthday gifts for their children?

In every church, large or small, many people—sometimes the pastor’s family—are wrestling with health crises that steal their peace. Each crisis might come in the form of acute illness, end-of-life issues, or the long-term slog of chronic illness, disability or dementia.

What does the art of caregiving look like in your church?

Do you feel equipped to minister to those who are hurting? What does the art of caregiving look like in your church, and how is it part of disciplemaking?

This issue will explore some of the complex issues surrounding how our health affects our faith. But it will also showcase beauty—the beauty that’s present when the body of Christ ministers to those whose physical bodies are bruised and broken, or just plain weary.