Jump directly to the Content

Ministry as Trauma Center

We have the privilege of walking with people whose lives have been shattered.
Ministry as Trauma Center

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, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

July/August
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
At Gunpoint
At Gunpoint
Called into a tense standoff, the only weapons I had were listening and love.
From the Magazine
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
We aren’t all equally afraid of the same things. But Scripture’s wisdom can apply to all of us.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.
close