When People Suffer

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When people are suffering because of illness, death or circumstances, we often struggle with the right thing to do or say. Listen as Maryanne shares the pain and grief as their family tried to cope with their loss. 



Maryanne and her husband found support and love in their small group community. Our small groups, the people we "do life" with are critical when we are in pain. As a small group leader, people are looking to you for answers and relief. Listen as Trevor Joy, Spiritual Formation Pastor at The Village Church, gives simple, helpful counsel about the best way to help people who are grieving. 


Think of the last time you were in the middle of grieving an illness, death or circumstance that cause you pain. What did people do or say that was comforting? What did people do or say that did not help?
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Trevor explained that a group leader or pastor cannot fix the suffering, sickness and death that is the reality of our fallen world. He suggested the ministry of presence which surrounds those who are suffering with a tangible, visual of the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

How does your small group come together when someone is hurting? Are people willing to share when they are hurting? Are there any ways you can encourage more openness so that people are willing to share and come together?
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Read Luke 18:1–8. Trevor referred to the Parable of the Unjust Judge and the Persistent Widow to illustrate how we should bring our petitions before God. What is does your group prayer time look like? Are you persistent in your prayers? Are people actively praying for the deep things of their own lives? What requests have you celebrated? What is still unanswered?
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Trevor explained that in our ministry of presence, we should point people towards Christ. What are your thoughts on this? How do you point people toward Christ without making them feel that you are just tossing Bible verses out? What has worked for you in your leadership role?
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"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
                                                  ~John 14:27 (NIV) 


For more RightNow Media training posts and teaching videos with Trevor Joy, click here.