Mable was clear when she called for counseling. Under no circumstances was her pastor to find out that she was seeking counseling for her situation. Her request for anonymity is not an unusual one for Christians in the church.
Once upon a time, the pastor was the primary caregiver for the sheep God had charged him to serve. And the sheep were more than willing to seek out their shepherd to walk with them through the various trials. Today’s Christian is more like Mable.
The modern pastor and his church are on the margins while para-Church ministries have become the primary caregivers for those in trouble. Realizing that our ministry cannot be a long-term solution for hurting individuals, my hope is to help the Mable’s of the world to see, value, and pursue their local churches for long-term care.
While I don’t mind helping anyone in the short-term, I realize that Mable is just like me: she’s a Christian who will not overcome sin and suffering in this life entirely. We both need a long-term solution. God’s answer for this is the local church.