Trauma happens. Not often, but anyone in ministry will likely face it eventually. Thus the need for emergency preparedness. Natural disasters, shootings, domestic violence, rape, bullying, assault, sexual or emotional abuse, suicide—all are traumatic. When any of our people have been traumatized, they need a shepherd to guide them out from danger.
Trauma differs from crisis. Everyone experiences crisis. According to psychologist Scott Floyd in The Ministry Essentials Bible, a crisis is a state of distress that challenges a person's normal coping mechanisms. A crisis is not necessarily a bad thing; rather, a crisis is a turning point—financial, directional, or relational— where things can go in either a positive or a negative direction.
A trauma, on the other hand, is an unexpected event that goes beyond normal coping capabilities. While a crisis will challenge a person's ability to cope, trauma tends to overwhelm a person's coping mechanisms. And afterward, ...1