Hey All, I want to start off today by saying thank you. You each give so much to lead, shepherd, guide, and care for the people in your groups and classes. Thank you for investing yourself in others, in order that we may all grow to be more like Christ.
I met a young couple last week who is serving refugees in Turkey, and they would love to come chat with your small group or class about what they do. They shared with one of our classes last weekend and it went very well. Out of respect for what they do, and for their protection, and the protection of those they serve, I won’t give additional details here, but I would highly encourage you to have them come visit. Please email me if you are interested.
For those of you who attended the huddle on Sunday, the remainder of this post is going to be a recap of the meeting. Please don’t feel the need to re-read everything. For those who missed the huddle, we spent a few minutes debriefing our FYWBTG experiences. Please follow this link to share your feedback.
TRAINING ON RESPONDING TO CRISIS
Below is the cliff’s notes version of the training from the huddle.
As a leader of a small group or class, chances are (if not already) the day is coming when you are going to have the opportunity to step into crisis (marriage crisis, job loss, parent/child trouble, tragedy, or unfavorable diagnosis). I know that is a terrifying idea because every time I face a situation like that I feel at a loss, but my hope is that I can share a few ideas to better equip you for situations like this.
What is a crisis?
A crisis is a time of intense difficult, trouble, or danger. It’ s a time in a person’s life when they are disoriented by something troubling happening in their life that causes them to be unable to function normally.
Who gets to determine a crisis?
Honestly, the only person who can determine a crisis is the person going through it. Now I know some of you are groaning in your minds right now. I’ve been there, but the truth is that crisis presents a pathway for growth that a lot of other things in life don’t. When we be-little someone’s crisis, we may keep them from experiencing growth.
Having said that, there are people we all know who are perpetually in crisis. If that describes someone in your community, please don’t hear me saying that you need to engage them in every crisis they face. In fact all I can really say is let’s please chat about those cases individually.
What Should You Do?
Your number one job in crisis is to responded . Even in moments where you feel completely inadequate, your presence and genuine concern for the person will show the hurting person that you care. That is enough to help with crisis.
How to respond
- Show Up: The truth is that you are not superhuman, but because of God you are supernaturally able. In the moments you walk into crisis, be strong and be confident in Him.
- Listen: Listening is incredibly important in crisis situations. Don’ti feel the pressure to jump in and say what you think you are supposed to say.
- Affirm that the situation is bad: People need permission to admit that this is not how it ought to be.
- Affirm their emotions. Give them permission to grieve
- Affirm that God is good. The easiest way to do this is through prayer
- Affirm that you’ll take steps together.
Things to avoid
- Cliches. Don’t say things you’ve heard other people say: “Everything happens for a reason”.
- Answers. It’s not the right time for that.
- Timelines. Everybody grieves differently. Timelines put pressure on the person in crisis to heal on a schedule.
- Asking “How can I help?” A better idea is to suggest ways you might help.
Once you respond to crisis there are three types of people you should try to connect the person in crisis with. If you encounter this, please feel free to contact me in help finding these people.
- Someone who has had a similar experience who understands and can encourage the person along the way.
- Someone who can offer wise counsel (counselor, pastor, trusted family friend)
- Someone who can provide refreshment along the way (cleaning, meal prep, watching children)
I realize this is a quick run through. If you ever want to discuss this more, please let me know.
Thanks again, JG