I watched the TV screen scroll through the public-service announcements, finally seeing the one I'd been looking for: "Divorce Recovery Group," it read, with information and the name of our church below. In the past year I have received dozens of phone calls regarding this group, and more about others we sponsor. It's one way our church is responding to the needs around us.
More and more churches are offering divorce-recovery, addiction-recovery, grief, cancer, pregnancy, parenting, and retirement groups, among others. These support groups give a forum whereby people can stand by one another, support and encourage one another, and receive, in the process, the very comfort of God (2 Cor. 1:3-7).
Many churches, however, hesitate to start a support group because they simply feel unqualified. Yet the process isn't as intimidating as it sounds. Here, for example, are the steps our church takes in forming support groups.
Step one: Identify an appropriate need
I wouldn't start a support group simply ...1
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