What Breaks Your Heart In The World Today And What Are You Doing About It?

“I have a burden for those who are de-churched or ‘formerly churched’ (grew up in church but were wounded, lost interest, or stopped the habit). I intentionally surround myself with at least one or more of these people on a regular basis by taking them to lunch, coffee, or providing a weekly book study in my office. I love to help people, who think they know the God of the Bible, experience Him for who He really is.”

—Matt Pearson, Campus and Teaching Pastor of The Church at West Franklin

“What breaks my heart is seeing people live imprisoned by the evil one. Satan is a merciless thief who uses unforgiveness, hate, bitter-root judgments, rejection, unconfessed sin, and unattainable vows of self- protection as a means to steal, kill, and destroy. He’s a master at magnifying past traumas to destroy those created in God’s image. These wounds are deeply embedded into one’s soul, entangling the heart with pain, hurt, and confusion. Wounds cause one to believe that they’re not worthy of someone else’s undivided love and commitment. However, they desire vindication and freedom. I love praying with them and watching the Savior reach into the depths of their heart—bringing life, healing, and light into dark places.”

—Doug Jones, Campus and Teaching Pastor of The Church at Woodbine

“In an era in which children were overlooked and undervalued, Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’ (Mark 10:14). My wife and I met in college while serving together in a ministry for vulnerable children, and in 2010, we brought our son home from Nepal. Under my wife’s leadership, our church began a partnership with Safe Families, a movement to keep children safe and families intact. Hosts, friends, and coaches provide a network of support to help families in crisis while they get back on their feet. We’ve been a host family six times, with five of those being for one precious, little girl. If children are important to Jesus, then they must be important to us.”

—Jay Strother, Lead Campus Pastor of The Church at Station Hill

“Among so many other things, it breaks my heart that we continue to waste the greatest resource God has given us—the gift of His creation itself. Entire species and vast ecosystems created for us by God will disappear due to our selfishness and pride. It’s such a massive issue, but my family has decided that even though we can’t fix everything, we can do something. Whenever possible, we purchase recycled and recyclable materials. We often ride our bikes. We conserve energy. We plant things—lots of things. We are taking baby steps to show our love and respect for God’s creation, and we are encouraging others to do the same.”

—David Hannah, Campus and Teaching Pastor of The Church at Lockeland Springs

“When I was in seminary, I house sat for a couple who moved to Florida for the winter. One night, I walked in on some guys robbing the house. When the police arrived and began the investigation, they remarked the burglars were amateurs, probably teenagers. I asked them how they knew, and the police pointed to the silverware drawer. ‘A real pro would have left the silver plate and only taken the silver. Rookies don’t know the difference.’ This is what breaks my heart: countless people around me who can’t tell what’s valuable from what only looks valuable. They don’t realize their error until it’s much too late. So, I do what I can to help others tell the difference.”

—Mike Glenn, Senior Pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church

“There is a deep passion in my soul for unreached people groups. 25 percent of the world’s population (1.88 billion people) have never heard the gospel. If you’re a family of four, imagine someone in your home living and dying without access to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This breaks my heart! I have specifically sought out mission partners and have chosen to financially support them, surround them in prayer, involve our church, and spend time in the nations. Everyone should have the opportunity to hear the gospel at least once. It breaks my heart that 1.88 billion people still haven’t heard. I want to be a part of changing that.”

—Wade Owens, Campus and Teaching Pastor of The Church at Nolensville

“I recently journeyed through the South on a Civil Rights tour. It was a sobering, educational experience. In preparation for the trip, I spent time with Dr. Willy James Jennings, Professor of Systematic Theology and African Studies at Yale University. He pleaded that geography is the primary factor perpetuating systemic racism. Namely, in the U.S., we have too few integrated neighborhoods. This year, our oldest son will begin attending a middle school that has rich diversity amongst its student body—economic and ethnic. My wife and I are excited about the opportunity before us to be in community with families that our normal rhythm of life would likely not allow. Perhaps we will see the kingdom coming in a whole new light—a brighter one.”

—Brandon Owen, Campus and Teaching Pastor of The Church at Harpeth Heights

“My heart truly breaks for some of the challenges children are facing today. While there are many great things happening in our metro-school system, there are also a few areas where the church can be of assistance. Many students would benefit from additional opportunities to increase their literacy, which would open doors for them now and in adulthood. By reaching out to educators in the school system as well as leaders at the main office, I’m learning how I can be more supportive. I volunteer when I can and make it a priority to keep opportunities on the church’s radar. By showing up on field days, encouraging parents and educators, mentoring students, and consistently praying for the public-school system, we can make differences that will leave lasting impact.”

—Aaron Bryant, Lead Campus Pastor of The Church at Avenue South

To read more stories from the Making Disicples Magazine, click here.