When Crisis Comes to Church, Part 1


Crisis situations typically drive individuals or families to the pastor’s door requesting counsel outside of normal church functions and interactions.  As such, it is important for pastors to assess crisis situations in order to provide the most effective help.  Defined simply, a crisis is “a perception or experiencing of an event or situation as an intolerable difficulty that exceeds the person’s current resources and coping mechanisms,” (James, 2008).  It is a turning point with the potential for great danger or great opportunity for the one experiencing the crisis (Wright, 1985).

It is not only congregants and their families that rely on the ministry to help them in times of crisis.  According to research posted on the EssentialChurch twitter feed, “26% of the church dropouts surveyed indicated that their church acted as a support network during a time of personal crisis.” (EssentialChurch, 2011).  Because so many people seek help through pastors as an initial step in times of crisis, and because crisis presents both danger and opportunity, it is extremely important that the pastor provide help that is caring, effective, and within the scope of his duties, skills, and qualifications.  Anything less could leave the individual confused and disillusioned concerning the ability of the church to help them in times of need.

(From an original paper, “When Crisis Comes to Church,” January 15th, 2011.)

EssentialChurch. (2011, January 12). 26% of the church dropouts surveyed indicated that their church acted as a support network during a time of personal crisis. Message posted to http://twitter.com/#!/EssentialChurch

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