WELS Special Ministries is introducing a new Bible study for congregational or small group use. “Helping the Hurting with Hope” was written to help participants appreciate the role of compassion in a Christian’s personal and congregational life, providing gospel motivation for participants to go beyond their comfort zones and act in compassionate ways through the Spirit’s power.
“We hope that the five-lesson study will give congregations an opportunity to discuss the best way to respond to broken people,” says Rev. Jim Behringer, director of WELS Special Ministries. “We hope members will rejoice when the Lord brings them into contact with people who need the Lord and work patiently and persistently to help them and connect them with Jesus.”
Behringer explains that where the Bible class succeeds in cultivating compassion, congregations will be better spiritual refuges for people with broken lives and welcome people looking for a church family where they can walk a new path after release from prison, or in recovery from addiction, or after a public fall into sin.
“WELS Prison Ministry has been successful in reaching the incarcerated with the Word of God, but when people who were in prison are released and look for a church family, some churches are very reluctant to work with returning citizens. Pregnancy counseling centers have experienced that their clients have a hard time finding a church family in a local church because they feel the stigma of disapproval of their past sins,” Behringer says, “When you recognize that someone is a sinner, rejoice to see them at church and encourage them to keep coming. Help them take the baby steps needed to start building a life in Christ.”
The Bible study is available for free online at welscongregationalservices.net/helping-the-hurting-with-hope. Learn more about WELS Special Ministries at wels.net/special-ministries.