Honoring the memories on Memorial Day

I love Memorial Day.  Not only is it the unofficial start of summer but it is also the day America honors those who died for our country in battle.  It is especially cool growing up and living in Northern Va because we get the sound of Rolling Thunder every Memorial Day weekend. I’ve blogged about Rolling Thunder before but it is a way many honor our fallen heroes by riding the motorcycles (Harley’s to be exact) into DC for a rally. It’s awesome to hear the roar of their motorcycle engines all weekend long.

memorial dayWhat I really appreciate about Memorial Day is that it is an opportunity for people to honor and remember their friends who gave their lives for America. And, as a minister, it gives you a real opportunity to minister to families who have active military members and military veterans in their family.

How? There are a few ways:

  • By hearing stories.  There are so many people that you are ministering to that have family members who served and possibly died in the line of battle.  Memorial Day provides a great opportunity for you to find out which families had this situation and for you to simply go and talk with them.  Hear their stories. In college I did a project where I had to audio tape my grandparents about some of their stories and it was such an honor for them to share their stories and me to hear them.
  • It allows you to minister to the older generation.  So many of the older generation feel unwanted. However, if you go and seek them out to hear their stories about their friends who died in battle, they will feel differently. It is a great opportunity for you to minister to them and help meet their needs.

The reality is, whether people or young or old, when you take time to simply sit and listen to others and their stories, it does an interesting thing.  It shows people that you actually care about them. And when people know that you actually care about them, it actually helps them trust you more as a minister (that you aren’t just interested in their money). And that isn’t such a bad thing.

What do you think? What do you do on Memorial Day?  How do you honor the memories with those you minister to? Share your thoughts and examples below or on social media using #ymsidekick.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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