Jump directly to the Content

Ministry's Bleeding Edge

What churches do for trauma.
Ministry's Bleeding Edge

One of my first Barna research projects introduced me to trauma. No, that's not a joke. In 1997, emerging from the sheltered life of Christian college, I completed a study for Prison Fellowship on how—and if—churches help people who had been raped, robbed, or in other ways victimized.

It was an eye-opening experience. It taught me that for millions of people—and nearly all of us at some point—life is tainted by extraordinarily difficult and challenging circumstances. It reminded me in stark statistical terms that local church leaders have to minister, almost literally, at the bleeding edge of these realities. However, it was also surprising how few churches offered intentional support to people dealing with trauma.

Since then, our team has learned a lot on this topic. Here are four things we've found about people undergoing trauma and how the church is responding.

1. Trauma is broader than we imagine. We tend to think of trauma in terms of sudden, ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
The Secret Sin of ‘Mommy Juice’
The Secret Sin of ‘Mommy Juice’
Alcoholism among women is rising. Can the church help?
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.