Someone pointed out to me that the pastoral needs of this age group – that of graduate students – tends to be low in comparison to the rest of those in church. It made sense – seeing as most are not dealing with significant medical concerns, aging parents, complications of parenthood, deaths of loved ones, and other things where one expects pastoral visits.
I don’t know about the comparison – I have never been in charge of the pastoral needs in a church. Furthermore, the average of those in the community in Amsterdam that I’m still part is that of the graduate students I now minister to. It is thus the pastoral concerns of this group that I actually know best. Perhaps they are not the greatest or most obvious needs; yet, I have seen that they are sometimes more and different from what the church expects.
This article from the CRC reminds us that sometimes we need to stop and listen to the needs we don’t immediately see: http://network.crcna.org/elders/lent-and-lonely-people. I am thankful for those who have already stopped and caught my attention so that I could listen; it is my prayer that I would continue to listen and so open my eyes to the needs that are not always so obvious.