Caring for widows

Caring for Widows (Book Review)

A book that deserves to be read by all church leaders to help prepare them for the growing number of widows in our congregations.

‘How good is a timely word’.

True of all things. Not least on the need as leaders to ensure that our pastoral outlook and delight in church is not just about families and children, but the inevitability that there are a growing number of widows that we are to love, care for, and feed.

So many churches are understandably taken up with families, new arrivals, and children. Sometimes the ‘poor men’ of the church are those that have not married or now find themselves alone.

Having been part of the church for a long time, how easily can we as leaders overlook them? Caring for Widows, co-written by Brian Croft and Austin Walker, is a helpful tonic and challenge to us all in church leadership.

A biblical understanding of widows

The book and its authors address us in two parts, the first being a comprehensive biblical understanding of widows and their significance and in today’s church. We are with great kindness to understand why we are to show love and care for these precious folk within the church family.

The authors challenge the possibility of neglecting widows from what the Bible says:

“Given these warnings from Moses and the prophets, together with the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the rule laid down by James, the church of Christ cannot evade the implications which inevitably follow. For elders, deacons, and church members to neglect or ill-treat widows expresses and attitude that is…the total opposite of the conduct of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…” (p30)

Practical advice

The second part overflows with great practical advice, from many years of pastoral experience, to involve meaningful and imaginative input into these important members of our congregations. Remembering anniversaries and involving them in family life through meals and special occasions is such a blessing to everyone.

For example: “I was reminded [on one occasion] of the fruitful effect that children can have on the lives of the elderly {widow} and likewise the influence the elderly can have on our children” (p122). This is something I have happily observed in my pastoral work.

So, here is a wonderful and readable little book that can help leaders, and help them to inspire and teach others, to share in this vital and ministry of great kindness – caring for widows.

It is a book that deserves to be read by all church leaders, and then shared by those who lead small group bible study or who have a ministry amongst older folk.

It will help prepare a church community of all the changes and challenges that time surely brings to those that we serve in church life.

You can order a copy of Caring for Widows from 10ofThose for £7.99.

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