Renovating the Heart of Kingdom Leaders - Part 8

A Theology of Suffering and Compassion

Listen to podcast audio:

Dr. Mark Mayfield and Matthew Ward return to the Gary Wilkerson Podcast for a conversation on the role of suffering in the Christian life. They discuss the power of actively working through suffering and explore some ways that pastors and kingdom leaders can support and empathize with those who are working through difficult seasons.

Key Points from the Podcast

  • Does the church, and should the church, have a theology of suffering?

  • Matthew Ward shares how he learned more about the Father heart of God through a season when he battled cancer.

  • Suffering is not just a result of the fall of man and sin, but in the Trinity, we see a willingness to suffer and have compassion on others.

  • Paul tells us that being a follower of Jesus means that we will share in Christ’s sufferings.

  • Dr. Mark Mayfield encourages us not to deny our suffering and try to confess it away, but to sit with it, learn from it, and become more like Christ through it.

  • If we want to have a theology of care or compassion, we also need a theology of suffering.

  • Helping others through their pain and suffering means sitting with them so that we can better understand and empathize with them.

  • We see a lot of lamenting in the Bible, yet it is not something that is talked about or taught in much of the church today.

  • As followers of Christ, we have been given authority over the enemy, over the flesh, and over our thoughts.

  • The parable of the good Samaritan gives pastors some great boundaries on how to care for others in their time of need.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 16:24; Isaiah 53; Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:10; Isaiah 61; Luke 4:16–21; Luke 10:17–20, 25–27

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

Episodes in this podcast series:

About Matthew Ward

Matthew Ward was one of the voices that helped create the sound of contemporary Christian music. He started as part of the 70s group, 2nd Chapter of Acts, which is credited with changing the sound of Christian music. Matthew is a singer, songwriter, and producer. He has released 9 solo albums, and 15 albums as part of the 2nd Chapter of Acts. He has recorded or performed with more than 50 contemporary Christian artists. As well as singing a duet with pop-diva Donna Summer and background vocals on other songs including the No. 1 hit She Works Hard for the Money. 

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About Dr. Mark Mayfield

Dr. Mayfield is a former pastor, a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a board-certified counselor, and founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers.

He has more than 14 years of professional counseling experience in clinical, judicial, and faith-based counseling settings across a wide range of patient demographics. Mayfield has professional experience in treating and addressing anxiety, depression, and PTSD, substance abuse, domestic violence, self-injury, and suicide. He is passionate about the integration of faith and mental health.

Dr. Mayfield recently launched his book, titled “HELP! My Teen is Self-Injuring: A Crisis Manual for Parents”  which addresses his own suicide survival story, self-injury, and how to help your child who might be going through this. His second book “The Path Out of Loneliness: Finding and Fostering Connection to God, Ourselves, and One Another”, published through NavPress/Tyndale House, released September 2021.

He has been featured in prominent media outlets including Woman’s Day, Hello Giggles, NBC, Reader’s Digest, Byrdie, and more. Dr. Mayfield is on a list of mental health professionals that was invited to the White House in December 2019 and has had periodic calls

with the White House to discuss mental health in America.

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About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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