Jesus established, through His ministry and words, a status and care for women that carried over through the early church and into our day. We all have friends, family, and those we serve through ministry, who are facing serious, troubling issues in their lives. We’d like to be authentic and helpful in our love and service to them. Bev Hislop’s book, Shepherding Women in Pain, provides practical resources to help women in pain. Her book has a permanent home on my desk now.
Hislop has gathered true-life stories and professional advice from experts in the fields of depression, infertility, terminal illness, disabilities, chronic pain, aging, addiction, abortion recovery, eating disorders, incarceration, homelessness, suicide, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, divorce, spousal involvement in pornography, spiritual abuse, and same-sex attraction. She has organized all the information about each area of pain into these useful categories:
- Understand the Issue
- Shepherding Insights—many include tables, charts, and lists such as the very helpful Characteristics of Effective Mentors and Topics Addressed by Effective Mentors
- Helpful Things to Do
- Unhelpful Things to Do
- Resources—books, websites of organizations, informational sites, and referrals
- Related Scriptures
- The expert author’s bio
Hislop’s experts emphasize the necessity of a disciplined spiritual and prayer life for anyone trying to minister to another person, especially a person who is suffering, and the role of the Scripture in both support of the one in pain and the one who serves. The end notes are excellent sources of more information. I did wish for an index, because there are often areas of common support across various ministry areas and it would have been instructive to use an index to find those common themes.
Use Hislop’s book in any of the pastoral, counseling, family life, mercy, medical, and restorative justice ministries. If you are a chaplain or if you lead a Sunday School class for adults, there are people in your group who hope you’ll keep this book handy. If you are looking for a resource to put in the hands of a church pastor, women’s pastor, director of any women’s ministry, seminarian, or mentor—this is it!
This is a review of Shepherding Women in Pain, a book by Dr. Bev White Hislop, executive director of the Women’s Center for Ministry and associate professor of pastoral care to women at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. Published 2010 by Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL. A copy of this book was provided for review at our request.
Author Info: Mary Margaret Gibson is the hands-on Ministry Director for Save the Mother, Save her Child, the evangelism training and equipping ministry of EvanTell for staff and volunteers of life ministries and pregnancy centers.