We must pastor those who suffer by joining them. We must share in their pain, become one with them in their problems, and shoulder the burden of their angst. We must pastor those who suffer by living among them; sharing with them the glory of the Kingdom, offering to them the strength and courage of the King, and becoming to them hope.
After all, we pledge allegiance to a King who was glorified upon an instrument of torture and death. He lived as one of us, bearing our burdens, and sharing His glory. If we are His disciples, we will simply do likewise. As with the King, so with His Kingdom. Jesus was attracted to human brokenness; we too are attracted to human brokenness. Jesus entered into the darkness; we too enter into the darkness. Jesus manifested the very Kingdom of Heaven; we too "are encouraging one another to live precisely as points of intersection, points of overlap, between heaven and earth."
This has, for us, the very real possibility of fear, angst, distress, pain, failure, loss, and even death. Following Jesus’ charge through the Gates of Hell will cost us the comfort of our smooth programs, the glory of our successful ministries, and the security of our budgets and salaries. We will relinquish control over our churches and ministries. We will smash our own idols of consumerism, individualism, and materialism, so that we will be able to minister the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the poor and marginalized.