Welcome back as we continue our “Sunday Morning Strategies” series designed to help you to accommodate children from disrupted homes in your Sunday morning children’s ministry. This week we are looking at a simple thing that you can do that doesn’t require any additional volunteers or committee approval or an overhaul of the way you “do church.” This week we are looking at the difference between empathy and pity and why it is so important that you be able to empathize with the children from disrupted home in your ministry.
The first thing we need to understand is the difference between empathy and pity. Dictionary.com defines pity as:
“Sympathetic or kindly sorrow evoked by the suffering, distress, or misfortune of another.”
Pity expresses itself as “Oh, I’m so sorry for what you are going through,” or “Isn’t it terrible what it happening with little Suzy’s family.” Although it is often offered from a very heartfelt position, pity is the last thing a child of divorce or child from any other disrupted family situation needs or wants. They don’t want you to feel sorry for them. Instead of helping, pity strips the child of dignity and turns them into to someone to feel sorry for.