Caring for a friend facing a significant loss is something that we (as friends and church members) often start well. We bring meals and try to make sure the mundane burdens (like mowing the grass) are handled. But too often this ends after a couple of weeks, and when the care ends the grieving individual often feels like it is no longer acceptable to speak of their loss. The length of our care often becomes the unspoken time table for how long grief is socially acceptable to talk about.Without a plan a church's care for grieving members may only last for 2 weeks. Here's a plan. Click To Tweet
Our care can be an immense blessing when we care well for the duration of the grieving process. The purpose of this appendix is to equip a small group to care for its members after a significant loss in a way that facilitates healthy grieving and demonstrates the present, patient love of Christ through His body, the church. Our goal would be to ensure that when their season of grief comes, every member of a small group would be able to echo this testimony:
“Reading back through journal entries made a decade earlier… I realized I had faced my greatest fear in life—to love and then to lose someone—with my faith intact. My wife’s death confirmed rather than threatened my faith because everything that followed conformed to what I had been taught to expect. My church family rallied to my aid, swamping me with love and care; my co-workers expressed deep sympathy and shouldered my responsibilities until I could return to work, and above all God made His presence and His comfort known in special ways (p. 14).” Joseph Lehmann in “Believing in Hope” from The Journal of Biblical Counseling (Winter 1998).
For the rest of the article: One Year Small Group Care Plan for Grief
The intent for this article is to provide a printable care plan for a small group to use when everyone first learns of the loss. If group members will sign up for the responsibilities outlined and mark their calendars accordingly, then the small group can care for their friend well with minimal reminders or fear of overlapping care.
This resource was taken from the seminar: “TAKING THE JOURNEY OF GRIEF WITH HOPE.”
If this post was beneficial for you, then consider reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on the Church and Counseling” post which address other facets of this subject.