As I have volunteered for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and spent the last five years traveling the United States responding to both natural storms and human-caused disasters, I encountered A LOT of pastors, associate pastors, educators, and small group minister leaders who were looking for tools for how to lead ministry in the aftermath. Disaster relief agencies like PDA, and Episcopal relief, Lutheran relief, Chatholic Charities, Salvation Army, Orthodox relief, Necham, and many more, all provide excellent first response, stabilization, and pastor care practices. But no other organization is working primarily and solely to provide resourcing for leaders to build and rebuild ministry after trauma.
What does children and youth ministry look like after the building is demolished by an act of arson? What is small group ministry after the community is shocked by gun violence? What is global mission after a tornado destroys a large portion of the community's residence facilities?
The answers to these questions, in some cases, is continue on as usual – continue studying Scripture, continue praying, continue gathering and supporting one another, continue reaching out. At the same time, the answer to these questions also are business cannot continue as usual. In some way, we must acknowledge that we have been deeply affected by this trauma. How we do that correlates with who we are as a community. For some, the community draws on its rich history of healing practices. For others, they must newly define and create healing.
To learn about some examples of best practices, be sure to visit the resource pages of this website, including articles, books, online ministry tools, seminars, and organization links.