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Is Our Church a Safe Place for Hurting People?

by Paul Cleveland

I’ve been listening to several of the workshops from the recent Gospel Coalition conference.  One particularly interesting one was presented by Nancy Guthrie.  Nancy is an author who is intimately acquainted with grieving.  Her books and the Respite Retreats that she and her husband host have proven helpful to many.


In her workshop, Nancy identified 6 Characteristics that Make a Church a Safe Place for Sad People.
  1. It (the church) overcomes the awkwardness to engage.
  2. It makes room for tears and sadness.
  3. It goes deeper than deliverance in prayer.
  4. It gently challenges spiritualism and sentimentalism with Scriptural truth. (28:00)
  5. It anticipates the family pressure points – both in the church family and in the immediate family.
  6. It helps facilitate turning misery into ministry.

Listen to Nancy’s entire workshop and ask yourself if your church is a safe place for sad people.