After talking of all the do’s and don’ts of involvement and sharing many of the psychological symptoms I want to finish on a couple of the most important items of advice.
Jesus is their Lord, as well as ours. Together we are all on a mysterious journey in this life with the Holy Spirit as our guide and Christ our personal Savior. For a brief moment the Lord has brought us together for a grand purpose. It is to help a messenger of God make it through a dark moment in life, to rediscover the joy of their salvation; to renew their individual value; and to focus on God’s intent for their lives. In the end, we will see a whole new voice speak out with a renewed certainty and boldness for the Lord.
But, it is also a means that NetMenders will be used significantly by our Maker to bring honor to His name. In one ministry He is answering two powerful prayers of His saints, “Lord, help me, I’m in need!” and “Lord, use me in a significant way for your glory.” In itself, it is miraculous. I am not certain who is being blessed the most, the wounded shepherd or the NetMender. So, as you participate in this ministry, expect the miraculous to happen in the life of your assigned pastor and in your own home.
This ministry is not primarily a human ministry of caring or counseling. It is a ministry of Jesus himself. In John 12: 20-22 a group of Greeks came to Phillip and said, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” Phillip took them to Andrew and the two of them went to Christ. This is the real work of a NetMender – one who guides the wounded shepherd to His Savior. There are good works happening everywhere, some are done by Christians and some by unbelievers. While people are helped by good works, they are transformed by fresh encounter with their God. If we do our part well, we should expect wonders to be performed in the name of our Redeemer.
Our ministry’s theme verse is Luke 4: 18-19. It says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” KJV
We are to be vessels that share the gospel to these worthy shepherds. The good news is that Jesus is going to heal their broken hearts. He is going to deliver them from anything that constrains or binds them. He will open their eyes to the truth and give these bruised messengers back their freedom – all in the precious name of Jesus. So, yes, the most important advice I can give you is that you can trust God to do the miraculous. Together our faith in Christ can move any obstacle that may obstruct their path. It can see them as well again, raised up as a whole new voice for God to proclaim His good news to a dying world. As the song says, “Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awesome God.”
NetMenders are true believers in God. They don’t wince at the impossible nor shrink from adversity. They enjoy a certain inner faith that victory is coming in the harshest of realities. It is the knowledge that the joy of the Lord will be their strength. The Word will be a lamp unto their feet and Jesus will be their personal Savior, yet again. The pillar of fire of God’s presence is surrounding these abused leaders and will do wonders for them in the days and weeks ahead. When this season is done we will see the fingerprint of God impressed on the the soul of these shepherds. It will be miraculous. And, one good miracle will do miracles for us all.
We must always remember that while a wounded shepherd may share many things with us, they all say just one thing, “We would see Jesus.”
Warning: To be used of God to restore one wounded shepherd could be hazardous to your heart. Seeing the hand of God move mightily on one of His hurting servants may cause your heart to explode with compassion for others. You could become a NetMender for the rest of your life.