“I remember driving down a busy highway one day in rush hour traffic. It was getting dark and cars were traveling bumper-to-bumper at a high rate of speed. As I drove, my headlights suddenly illuminated a disturbing picture. Two little white dogs were on the side of the road. It was obvious that one had been hit by a car. It lay lifeless on the ground. The other little dog panicked. He didn’t know what to do. He kept nudging the injured dog with his nose trying to get him up on his feet. It was all to no avail.
It was a confusing situation for a little white dog whose companion now lay stricken on the ground. The dog would nudge his friend, and then start to run away to get help, and then would return to his companion, not knowing what to do. Finally, he ran back into the road across busy lanes of traffic, barely being missed by the cars. I followed this scared but determined dog as he ran through the neighborhood. Finally, the panicked dog stopped at the front door of a house. I knocked on the door. Sure enough, it was where the dogs lived. I took the owner to the place where his dog had been hit, and observed him carefully picking him up in his arms.
Each day on our journey through life we encounter people who seem to have it all together. However, if we could only see the stress, strains and bruises in their lives perhaps we could take a moment to make their life brighter. We also encounter people who obviously are injured by life’s hurts who need our help. God has called each of His followers to a ministry of help and encouragement to others.
In our busy churches and Bible study groups we can lose the vision of helping even hurting people. In many of our churches today we do not know the people on our membership and Bible study rolls that may need a godly touch.”
I wrote these words in a workbook entitled, “Bottled Tears, Developing Spiritual Skills for Effective Ministry to Others.” There should be the expectation that every Sunday School class will care enough to organize for ministry. Care groups are still the best way I know to keep informed and in touch with everyone on our Sunday School roll or ministry list. A ministry leader assigned to a group of perhaps 6-8 people for care can make a big difference in someone’s life. It’s the attitude that not one person on our roll will be left on the side of the road unattended.
It is critically important that we train our Sunday School class members in principles that will help them to be effective in ministry to others. The “Bottled Tears” workbooks are designed to do that and can be ordered from the Office of Sunday School/Bible Study Ministries of the Alabama Baptist Convention, State Board of Missions for $2.00 each. An accompanying DVD for training groups can also be purchased for $1.00. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an order form. Other ministry helps are available on our website at www.alsbom.org/ss.
*Bottled Tears Copyright, Rick Ellison, Alabama Baptist Convention, State Board of Missions, January 2008. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Rick Ellison is a Sunday School associate for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. In addition to his ministry to Alabama Baptists, Rick has also carried the Olympic Torch at the 1996 and again in 2002 Winter Games along with his wife, Sheila.