Churches Mobilize Lay Leaders for Grief Ministry
April 28, 2010
WAKE FOREST, N.C., (christiansunite.com) -- After the funeral, people in grief need support and care for weeks and months to come. Pastors are hard-pressed to offer this level of ongoing care alone. That's why thousands of pastors have turned to GriefShare a tool that makes it easy for church lay people to organize grief support groups.
Jim Witt, a pastor at First Baptist Church of Garland, TX, has found that offering this lay-led ministry eases his ministry load. "Given the quality of the materials and how easily the lay people are able to use it, my role becomes more supportive than hands-on."
To run an effective grief program, GriefShare leaders do not need to be counselors or therapists. Their GriefShare kit comes with weekly, 35-minute video seminars featuring respected Christian counselors, pastors and teachers. Local pastors can let Paul Tripp, Jack Hayford, Zig Ziglar, Anne Graham Lotz and over 35 others be the "guest speakers" at their GriefShare groups. After showing the video, the lay leaders facilitate a small group sharing time.
"All I have to do as a facilitator is love the Lord, want to serve Him and want to serve these people who have lost a loved one to death," explained Elizabeth Rankin of Calvary Chapel San Diego, CA.
Pastors don't need to invest much time getting this ministry going or sustaining it. The GriefShare kit comes with easy-to-use training tools for lay leaders. Lay leaders also receive free, personal, ministry help from GriefShare's full-time consultants. The consultants answer questions and provide guidance via free, daily telephone and email consulting; a moderated online Forum connecting thousands of GriefShare leaders; and live and archived webcasts.
So, find two committed lay leaders, and your GriefShare ministry will quickly become a self-sustaining ministry, explained Steve Grissom, president and founder of Church Initiative, which produced GriefShare.
"As a pastor, I've hardly had to do anything in establishing and operating the ministry," said Pastor Bruce Mawhinney of Wheatland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA. "I've just been there as a cheerleader on the sideline."
GriefShare, www.griefshare.org/startagroup/?pastors, equips over 7,000 churches worldwide with the tools to offer biblically based, grief recovery support groups. GriefShare is a ministry of Church Initiative of Wake Forest, NC.