This post, written by Kate Wiebe, originally was published on November 30, 2015, on our previous website.
One of the frequent tips that we offer ministers after crises is guidelines for talking with their congregations after crises.
Communication is one of the three keys to healing after trauma.
Communicating well with a congregation especially is critical to healing after collective trauma. You can learn more about communication and guides for communication with congregations and staffs in our Resource Guides, available on the ICTG Training page.
As ICTG directors and advisors – in our experience as leaders who have deployed to post-disaster sites, as leading scholars in the fields of pastoral theology, congregational care, spiritual formation, and youth ministry, and as professionals certified in critical incident debriefing – we have found the following practices most helpful following collective trauma:
These are some of the tips we've gathered over the years and shared with one another. You may have found other points helpful too. Or, perhaps you experienced times or circumstances where these points needed correction for your community. We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to share your experience, wisdom, and questions in the comments below.