Discreetly sharing your personal suffering can help others feel understood and safe to share their own personal suffering with others.
There is a common misconception in our culture that church is a place for people who have everything together, which is not helpful in connecting with those who hurt. One way to address this is for church leaders to model openness about personal suffering and challenges. This doesn’t mean that leaders have to share everything from their personal lives, but a leader who is willing to be open about their own experience helps people feel like they too can be open and so find the help and support they need. And it has the added benefit of cultivating a church culture that puts a greater emphasis on outreach and relationship-building in order to come alongside others who are suffering.