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Someone to Call

photo of graduates with their faces blurred

Today’s story comes to us from one of our volunteer shepherds with an advanced degree in pastoral counseling. We are so grateful for shepherds who pursue training that benefits the ministry leaders Standing Stone serves.

Brady exhaled loudly, almost as if expelling the breath from his lungs could simultaneously relieve the pressure of the last few days.

I don’t blame seminary, Brady told me.

I’m glad I learned Hebrew and Greek. But how were verb tenses and translation nuances supposed to help me with this?

I know what you mean, I replied. I’m just glad he’s okay.

The “he” I referred to was a young man in Brady’s congregation. Brady was a relatively new pastor, and this teenager was in trouble. I didn’t know any of that a few days prior, however, when Brady first called me. That day, when I glanced at my phone and saw it was my old friend from school, I was delighted. Brady did the Mdiv track and I took the Pastoral Counseling one, but we had been in a number of classes together. We hadn’t spoken since we graduated, so I immediately greeted him with excitement when our call connected…

Brady! It’s so good to hear from you. How’s it going?

His voice was strained; his words came in a rapid-fire fashion.
Listen. I don’t have time to catch up. I’m at church and I’ve got a couple in my office right now. Their teenage son locked himself in the bathroom, threatening suicide. You’re the only person I know with counseling experience. Can you help me?
Gratefully, God enabled me to help Brady. Even more significantly, the two of us were able to walk this troubled young man and his parents through a dark place. I’m happy to report that he did not hurt himself that day or any day. He’s doing well.

It was an incredibly stressful situation for everyone. Later, when Brady and I debriefed, I realized–again–how important it is for pastors to have someone to turn to. That’s why I’m a Standing Stone shepherd and a major reason why I pursued an advanced degree.

Looking back, I’m super impressed that Brady reached out for help. I wondered how many of the Mdiv students we knew would eventually find themselves in a situation seminary didn’t prepare them to face. I sure hope they know a Standing Stone shepherd they can call.

Please help us train our shepherds. We only have a few more days to raise the $50,000 for our National Conference. We’ve already received over half the needed funds. Would you please consider a gift of any size to help us reach our goal?

If God puts this on your heart, use the link below and please write National Conference in the “Add a Note” box of your donation.


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