Skip to main content

Thoughts about the churches response to the next Shooting ….

My heart is breaking along with the rest of America and the world over the senseless violence on Friday. The school shooting that occurred this past Friday is beyond the imagination of anyone. The horribly news, the terrifying description of the pain, anxiety, fear, and depression on the faces of those affected was heart wrenching to watch on T.V.
            As a Christian my heart breaks, and my prayers go up for the family that is suffering through such tragedy of losing a child to this senseless and unexplainable act. I also pray for the minds and hearts of the first responders, the memories that have been formed in their mind from what they found as they went through the doors for the first time, for the children and teachers in the school that survived, but will forever be touched by this event. My prayer is simple “God grant them the presents of your Holy Spirit, and the helping and healing touch of your love, as you minister to their hearts and minds through this time.”
            As the news keeps breaking and as the story continues to unfold, there has been talk and challenges issued by various groups about gun control, mental illness, and even teachers being armed. I’m not sure if any of these debates will mean much, or if the laws had been different there would have been a different outcome. However, I believe that there are two debates that the national media won’t engage in. The first is not the focus of this post but is worth mentioning. Christians often make the argument of how God being removed from the Public School has promoted a different value system among young people and adults over the past 30 years.
The second debate is more for the church than the media. How do we respond if this happens in our community? Newton, Connecticut is a microcosm of hundreds of thousands of small communities across America. On any given day, any school throughout America could face a similar tragedy. As a minister, Christian counselor, professional addiction counselor, and member of a church, there may be a time I’m called on in a time of crisis. My training and background will help me to respond. However, I’m so concerned today there are hundreds or even thousands of pastors that have never had the training or even the desire to learn how to help individuals in a crisis like this.
I believe as a pastor, church member, family member, and friend there are three essentials the church must get into their brain, heart, and ministry plan.
1.      Tragedy is going to hit your church community in some form and at some point (it maybe a shooting, a natural disaster, or the death of a friend or family member). It is our responsibility to be pro-active now (have the training and plans in place to respond), and not re-active (running around the community looking for help) then.

2.      Develop a prayer network that is going to reach across denominational, cultural, school district, city limits, state lines and the nation. Pray that God is going to protect our children, families, and communities.

3.      Develop an ACTION PLAN … In times of crisis what do we do? How do we respond to the individuals effected by this crisis, how do we pray with them, what do we share with them, and where do we get them help? In my mind the ACTION PLAN is simply about the pastor knowing the answers to these questions, and having the tools to help. It is about the body of Christ, stepping up, being trained, and sharing the love of Christ with the hearts and minds of those affected. The church needs to also look at the on-going care of individuals affected by these events. Post-Trauma Stress Disorder is real, and the statement “pray about it” is a great come back but not the sole solution. Helping them to deal with the emotional loss, physical trauma, and haunting memories will take time to heal, and a loving church to assist them.
As we continue to read and hear more about this tragedy, I pray it is a wakeup call for the church to prepare for the worse, and thank God for his continue blessing on our community.

Popular posts from this blog

Suicide & The Pulpit

Reports have emerged that Pastor Bill Lenz who was founder and longtime senior pastor of Christ the Rock Community Church in Harrison, WI died Monday by committing Suicide.   Bill was a strong advocate within the Christian community for Suicide Prevention, and along with his brother created Life Promotions, that ministers and teaches folks about Suicide Prevention and how to recover from those thoughts. Reports that I have read have stated that Pastor Lenz reported suffering with Anxiety,   Panic Attacks, and Depression for about three months, and his staff and board responded by providing support and encouragement including giving him time to seek counseling and treatment.   However, the depression became overwhelming and on Monday, he chose to take his own life.    My prayers are with his family, friends, staff, and members of his church.   Having provided Suicide Prevention training to staff members at churches and other organizations I am not sure what could have been done dif

Time for the Next Great Awakening …

Throughout the late 1800’s there was political nightmare happening in America. This nightmare eventually erupted into a Civil War. However, what is also interesting it also ushered in some of the Greatest Revivals in history. As I sit today reading the news, listening to people talk, and realize we are once again in the midst of a political nightmare. I listen to the President talk and yes even tweet (personally I wish all their tweet accounts were shut down), I hear presidential candidates, Senators, Congressmen and Congresswomen, political advisors, and sadly, Pastors commenting back and forth. Realize, just as with the events of the mid-1800’s the only true survival for America is a great move of God, Yes a real National Revival, from the White House to the Farm House, from the Department of Education to the classroom, from the Pentagon to the local military base. Yes, even from the National Cathedral to the local church. It is time once again for America to seek a real soluti

God help me stand in your place today!

I was reading Proverbs 25: 6-7 today … what a powerful passage of scripture. When you read those words in Christian Standard Bible they jump off the page: "Don’t brag about yourself before the king, and don’t stand in the place of the great; 7 for it is better for him to say to you, "Come up here!   " than to demote you in plain view of a noble." I’m fearful that too many preachers are promoting themselves above the place that God has called them to be. I was taught humility as a young preacher and even today I still hold on to these truths. I always allow the minister where I’m preaching or teaching to give my title that will be used such as Reverend, Doctor, Pastor, Bishop or Minister. I always sit on the front row or with my wife if she is there until the pastor asks me to come to the platform. I always respect the position of authority over me (Pastor/Bishop). I’m a guest at his church and acknowledge their position, and never assume that I have s