How Does the Church Connect with People in Crisis?

I firmly believe that most adults come to faith through crisis. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, the pain of a life-dominating addiction, a marriage falling apart, or battling with feelings of anxiety and depression, it seems like God reaches people through difficulty.

As C.S. Lewis famously said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Therefore, it seems that Jesus’ church should be at the front lines of helping people in crisis. As a church, our hope is to develop some kind of “net” that catches those who are being ripened for the gospel by the troubling circumstances God has allowed in their lives.

One church that has developed such a “net” is The Village Church outside of Dallas. They have a few weekly Recovery ministries to help people who are struggling with the effects of sin.

Here’s a brief paper that explains their philosophy of ministry.

What do you think? Is this a strategic way to engage the culture or is this capitulating to a world that has gone a little too far with the psychobabble? (be sure to read the paper before you answer).

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  1. #1 by nancy schoenhardt on June 28, 2010 - 10:51 am

    Love this, we as a church have looked the other way for far to long. We need to be in the trenches, coming alongside hurting people. Excited to see what God will do through all of us at Second Mile. Thanks Luke for your passion and Love for Christ and his people!

    • #2 by Tabatha on June 28, 2010 - 3:02 pm

      I love these 2 statements in the paper: “We are a place where it is “okay to not be okay…but not okay to stay there.” and “We not only want to share the gospel to those who are lost or in various forms of addictions, but to teach the implications of the gospel as we deal with issues of anger, guilt, shame, control, depression, loneliness, abuse and fear. Our hope is to provide sound biblical counsel and loving biblical community.”

      I believe God will change hearts and lives in an atmosphere where people are being authentic about the struggles in this life and by sharing the only answer, Jesus. So excited to see what God will do!

  2. #3 by Troy Blakemore on June 29, 2010 - 9:00 am

    As a secular trained counselor and currently working in the AZ Medicaid Behavioral Health System in Phoenix, I have to say; It’s about time someone put on paper what is desperately needed if the church is to take back it’s God-given roles from the state. 12-step groups have been hijacked by the secular humanists and I would welcome our reaffirming it’s Godly history–through practical, real life change in people’s lives.

    My biggest concern is making sure these groups don’t slide into the ‘psychobabble’ that dominates so many of these 12-step groups (even those hosted in many churches). True biblical leaders will have to continue to keep them on track, on-gospel, on-Jesus; or they will fall below the standard of being ‘above reproach.’ I look forward to the day when believers and non-believers turn to the church for help and hope, instead of the state. This papers appears to be good strategy.

  3. #4 by Gini Larsen on July 2, 2010 - 10:18 am

    I agree with Troy 100%. Many churches have stayed out of “12-step” programs for good reasons but have failed to provide an alternative for church members who are struggling. The Village is to be commended for their efforts.

    We need “new millennium” counseling strategies to replace the old methods- Gospel-centered counseling should be the foundation of any 12-step program. I would also recommend The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation website (CCEF.org), and Dr. Phil Monroe’s website (“Musings of a Christian Psychologist”) WordPress) as resources that provide thoughtful, biblical approaches to counseling and psychiatry in 2010.

  4. #5 by lukesimmons on July 4, 2010 - 5:17 am

    I’m glad you guys were encouraged by this article and their philosophy. What encourages me the most about it is the commitment to a biblical, gospel-centered approach to redemption, but also the “wise as serpents, innocent as doves” mentality of trying to engage culture. For instance, having it be 12 steps so that people who have to take a court-appointed 12 step program can “count” it is a good move to me.

    I think a ministry in this vain is probably a significant upcoming step for us as a church. God has positioned us in a good place with some people who have experience and much of our leadership development is targeted at equipping our leaders to do this kind of redemption ministry. Please be in prayer about it.

  5. #6 by Troy Blakemore on July 12, 2010 - 12:59 pm

    Gini,
    Thanks for the second website. I hadn’t heard of it before and found this link very helpful: http://wisecounsel.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/does-porn-use-give-a-christian-grounds-for-divorce/

    Very helpful. Thanks again.

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