Lori Andrews: It’s amazing to me: the more I learn about the brain, the more the Word of God becomes alive.
Karl Vaters: Hi, I'm Karl Vaters and I'm a small church pastor. And welcome to Can This Work in a Small Church? My podcast guest today is Lori Andrews and the subject is ministry trauma and brain science. Dr. Andrews works in childhood education and her doctorate includes trauma and neurobiology. She and her husband have been friends of mine for a long time, starting when they were in small-church pastoral ministry near our church.
Because of this combination of experience and training, Lori is able to speak into a lot of the situations pastors face as we help our congregations acknowledge and find healing from ongoing trauma. And don't forget to stick around when the interview is done. I'll come back with an overview of the content and an answer to the question “can this work in a small church?”
I think to a certain degree, we've all been experiencing what I would call low level trauma for the last 18 months. What happens when we are constantly in a state of low-level trauma. And I'm always slow even to use the T word for what I'm going through because I look around and go, people are experiencing a real trauma .I have never been abused. I've never gone through any of those issues. I've never lost somebody really, really close to me.
So what I'm experiencing is very low level to the point where I don't even want to put the T word on it and yet it does feel like we have all gone through and are continuing to go through a low level trauma.
So it's kind of like we're not having this initial spike, but if you take the amount of trauma in a spike and you spread it out over 18 months, it's still the same amount. It's just simply spread out. So, how is that being experienced in us? And how as church leaders, because that's who this podcast is primarily for, so as church leaders: one, how do we deal with that within our own lives and behaviors? And secondly, how do we help those members in our churches who are going through it, who wouldn't even think, and don't even need it to call it trauma, they just simply need to be able to navigate their way through it?
LA: Yeah. So it's funny. Because if you’re on any social websites or whatever, you'll see people making comments about things like Zoom exhaustion, right? I think that's exactly what they're expressing is this idea: I'm exhausted. I am exhausted and tired and overwhelmed, right?