Leading With Compassion

By   •   March 9, 2010

When a windstorm hit the Midwest region a year and a half ago, Karin Maney knew that her church could do more to help their community.

“It wiped out our electricity for one to two weeks. There was no way to get gasoline, get money out of the ATM machines, and food was going bad,” remembers Maney. “There was really no organized way to reach out to them, and this really is what spurred us on to find ways to do this – to share hope in the midst of what was going on.”

Now, Maney, the Director of Prayer and Pastoral Care Ministries at Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, OH, along with nearly 100 fellow church members, went through Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) Sharing Hope in Crisis training in late February.

This training equips Christians to appropriately provide emotional and spiritual care to those going through a crisis, whether it is a natural disaster (such as hurricane), or a personal crisis, such as a terminal illness or death of a close loved one.

Not only are they more equipped to minister to their surrounding community; they can better serve those who enter the Healing Center, a ministry associated with Maney’s church.

“This is place that people can come where we minister to them holistically,” said Maney. “It offers a social services aspect as well as a prayer ministry, spiritual growth classes, life skill training, 12-step groups, clothing, food and job coaching, to name a few. Many of the people who go through the Healing Center have been through a very personal crisis of their own.”

Because of the circumstances of many who enter the Healing Center, Maney wanted to make sure the staff was trained to lead with compassion. “It’s so important to bring the love of Jesus to everyone, no matter where they are, spiritually.”

Maney said that this training goes hand-in-hand with the strong emphasis on evangelism her church holds, but it also holds another benefit.

“Our church is known as a ‘come as you are’ church. And people do just that, so lots of them come to us in crisis. This training can be used as a foundation to reach out to people who visit our church.”

She is particularly passionate about being ready for those visitors who walk through the church doors because of a statistic given by the RRT trainer.

“Our trainer, Mike, told us about a case study that was conducted over a six-month period. 10 percent of people who visited a particular church for the first time did so because they were invited. The other 90 percent came because they were in a crisis. I want to be ready to receive visitors who enter our church doors and be able to appropriately respond to those who are in crisis.”

She appreciates the fact that this training is not just for man-made and natural disasters. “I have heard comments from people who said this was the best training they ever attended. It certainly has a wide application, so I would recommend this for any church who wants to develop a care program.”

Find RRT crisis training near you:

March 13
Orange Beach, AL
Christian Life Church
Orange Beach, AL
Register now by clicking here»

March 27t
Asheville, NC
Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove
To register call: (800) 950-2092

April 10
Melbourne, FL
Calvary Chapel of Melbourne
Melbourne, FL
Register by clicking here»

April 17
Rochester, NY
Greece Assembly
Rochester, NY
Register by clicking here»

April 24
Franklin, TN
Grace Chapel
To register, call: 615.591.5091 or click here.

May 22
Louisville, KY
St. Stephens
Jefferson, IN (Louisville, KY)
Register beginning in March

June 5
Birmingham, AL
Covenant Community Church
Register beginning in April

June 14-17
Asheville, NC
Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove
To register call: (800)950-2092

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