I have been saying for years that there is a trend where more and more people are coming to our churches for help. In a recent USA Today report (via Church Marketing blog) many pastors and churches are reporting that increase of attention and giving in areas of financial and physcial needs.
Certainly these physical needs are coming with psychological ones. Unfortunately many of our pastors and church members are ill-equipped to manage these needs. It is not difficult to know how to give money and food, but when it comes to giving and supporting emotional need, more and more pastors are finding that their only option is to refer.
Thankfully, there are more and more clergy that are recognizing this deficit. People like me have devoted much time and energy into learning how to help people with these basic emotional needs and to equip them with more than psychological help, but also with a place for belonging. We have much more to offer if we are sensitive to these needs and find ways to equip ourselves as church leaders.
If you have not had this specialized there are organizations out there such as Stephen’s Ministry, which can provide some much needed training for clergy and lay ministers as a way to empower people to serve these special needs. The training can be costly, but it is also priceless when we consider the impact that it can make on our communities.