Caring for Widows [eBook]
Ministering God’s Grace
Pastors and church leaders are responsible for countless things. Unfortunately, in many churches, ministry to widows remains largely neglected and forgotten.
Highlighting the Bible’s recurring commands to care for widows with sensitivity and compassion, this book encourages church leaders to think carefully about how to serve the widows in their congregations and suggests practical strategies to that end. In part 1, the authors summarize the Bible’s consistent teaching regarding the care of widows. In part 2, the authors offer hands-on counseling and a host of practical suggestions related to ensuring that widows receive the support and encouragement they need to thrive in the church.
Brian Croft has served in pastoral ministry for twenty years and is currently senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also the founder of Practical Shepherding, a nonprofit organization providing practical resources for pastors and church leaders all around the world. He has authored over a dozen books and travels all over the world, speaking at conferences, preaching at local churches, and training pastors.
Austin Walker is a pastor at Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England, about 20 miles south of London.
“Let’s face it, widows are easy to overlook in our culture today and, unfortunately, that is increasingly true due to the decline of the nuclear family in the West. But the Bible is clear—taking care of widows is not optional, it is a biblical imperative. Croft and Walker have done a masterful job of laying the biblical foundation for caring for widows and then providing clear, specific and practical guidelines on how to do that in your church. This is an important book for all pastors and lay leaders or any believer committed to reaching out to widows in their church and community.”
—Bob Russell, Former Senior Pastor, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky
“This book is a wonderful, in-depth guide explaining an important aspect of what Scripture calls ‘true religion,’ that is, to visit and care for widows in their distress. Both theological and practical, this is one of the best resources on the topic and is a must read for churches not only seeking to be compassionate, but to faithfully practice biblical justice.”
—Nathan Ivey, Pastor of Mercy, Sojourn Community Church
“Every Sunday as I look at my congregation, I am keenly aware of the women (and men) who have lost their beloved spouses in recent years. They are lonely. They are mourning still. They may even feel awkward among God’s family. I am so thankful for this book, which reminds pastors and churches that we have a biblical mandate to love these dear ones, ministering the Word, by the Spirit, so that widows are cared for temporally in light of eternity.”
—Jay S. Thomas, Lead Pastor, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
“This is a gem of a book, full of helpful advice when it comes to pastoring, loving, and caring for widows in our congregations. I personally found it challenging, and I can see it being a helpful tool in teaching church members about their responsibilities to the widows in our midst.”
—Mez McConnell, Senior Pastor, Niddrie Community Church, Edinburgh, Scotland; Founder, 20schemes
“While reading this book, I went ‘Ouch!’ more than once because it points out ways in which we have been negligent in looking after the widows in our church. This is certainly one area in which we need reformation. I trust that my ‘Ouch!’ will be turned into action so that God may smile at our church as he sees the way we will begin to look after widows in distress in our midst. All of us who are church elders and deacons need to get back to this religion that is pure and undefiled before God!”
—Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia
“We see them in the congregation; they rarely sit together; they occupy their customary place; and they have many friends. They are examples in femininity, humility, usefulness, and faith in a heavenly Father. They are the widows, but shudder at being labeled as such. They look to their preachers for the gospel message to exalt Jesus Christ. They look to their pastors for total respect and graciousness. They look to their fellow members for holy love and genuine friendship. They look to be remembered within the nuances of the body of Christ. This is what Croft and Walker enable us to do, to become better pilgrims on our way to the blessed gathering of all the elect, to be unashamed at the great reunion. ‘Well done for helping widows in their affliction.’ We need such help in this area, and then we find that increased thoughtfulness in one dimension encourages consecrated words and feelings in very different relationships within the holy body.”
—Geoff Thomas, Pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Wales