In a world full of brokenness, it takes time for the people we disciple to trust us. One of the mistakes I made early in my ministry was an unwillingness to get involved in the lives of hurting people. After going through a season of brokenness in my own life, I realized that a lot of wounded people try to overcome their brokenness through performance. They can do all the right things for a while, but sooner or later they have to deal with their brokenness.
Jesus came to give life and hope to the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18–21). We must relate to others as Jesus does. That means remembering how sensitive people’s wounds are. The way we deal with someone’s wounds will affect how he responds to us and how he grows.
Building trust requires treating people’s hurts with gentleness. As people grow and become stronger, they can deal with stronger things. But in the early stages, we must relate to them on their terms and with great care.
So take your time and build trust. It may take longer, but it makes relationships much more enjoyable because we’re not evaluating people’s performance. Instead, we’re simply cooperating with the ongoing work of God in their lives.