Caring for Widows: Ministering God’s Grace

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ISBN: 9781433546914


Pastors and church leaders are responsible for countless things. Unfortunately, in many churches, ministry to widows remains largely neglected and forgotten.

Highlighting the Bible’s recurring commands to care for widows with sensitivity and compassion, this book encourages church leaders to think carefully about how to serve the widows in their congregations and suggests practical strategies to that end. In part 1, the authors summarize the Bible’s consistent teaching regarding the care of widows. In part 2, the authors offer hands-on counseling and a host of practical suggestions related to ensuring that widows receive the support and encouragement they need to thrive in the church.

About the Authors

Brian Croft is the senior pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the founder of Practical Shepherding, and the senior fellow of the Mathena Center for Church Revitalization at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in pastoral ministry for over twenty years and has written over a dozen books. Croft and his wife, Cara, have four children.

Austin Walker (BD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England. He is married to Mai, and they have four children and ten grandchildren.


“Let’s face it, widows are easy to overlook in our culture today and, unfortunately, that is increasingly true due to the decline of the nuclear family in the West. But the Bible is clear—taking care of widows is not optional, it is a biblical imperative. Croft and Walker have done a masterful job of laying the biblical foundation for caring for widows and then providing clear, specific and practical guidelines on how to do that in your church. This is an important book for all pastors and lay leaders or any believer committed to reaching out to widows in their church and community.”
Bob Russell, Former Senior Pastor, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Kentucky

“This book is a wonderful, in-depth guide explaining an important aspect of what Scripture calls ‘true religion,’ that is, to visit and care for widows in their distress. Both theological and practical, this is one of the best resources on the topic and is a must read for churches not only seeking to be compassionate, but to faithfully practice biblical justice.”
Nathan Ivey, Pastor of Mercy, Sojourn Community Church

“Every Sunday as I look at my congregation, I am keenly aware of the women (and men) who have lost their beloved spouses in recent years. They are lonely. They are mourning still. They may even feel awkward among God’s family. I am so thankful for this book, which reminds pastors and churches that we have a biblical mandate to love these dear ones, ministering the Word, by the Spirit, so that widows are cared for temporally in light of eternity.”
Jay S. Thomas, Lead Pastor, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Biblical Warrant—Austin Walker

  1. Christ’s Example and James’s Principle
  2. The Price for Neglecting Widows
  3. The Compassion of Boaz
  4. The Compassion of Elijah and Elisha
  5. Provision and Protection in the Law of Moses
  6. The Significance of the Old Covenant Provisions
  7. The Character and Conduct of Christ
  8. Christ and Elijah
  9. Widows, the Church in Jerusalem, and Deacons
  10. “Really Widows”

Part 2: Pastoral Application—Brian Croft

  1. 11 Minister the Word
  2. Equip the Church
  3. Stay a While
  4. Listen and Learn
  5. Write a Card
  6. Take a Gift
  7. Involve Your Family
  8. Enjoy Their Company
  9. Watch for Anniversaries
  10. Adopt during Holidays

Appendix A: The Situation of Widows and Orphans of Christian Ministers by Andrew Fuller
Appendix B: A Unique Ministry: Training Young Mothers to Care for Elderly Widows

Additional information

Weight 150 g
Dimensions 178 × 127 × 10 mm

Croft, Brian, (Author), Walker, Austin, McKinley, Mike, (Author, Contributor)

Publication Summary

Crossway (2015), 160 pages

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