Home Small Group Leaders Helping Your Small Group Deal With Grief

Helping Your Small Group Deal With Grief

Well, the police came, broke it down, found out that he had shot himself. It was a mess. We couldn’t even go in to see it. Within about 15 minutes my small group was there. I don’t just believe in small groups. The group I’m in, I’ve been in 18 years. My group showed up on those door steps. There was nothing they could say that was going to encourage me. What they did was hugged me. The guys got around and hugged me and the girls got around and hugged Kay. And then they said, “We’re not going home tonight. We’re staying at your place.”

“You don’t have to do anything.” They slept in the kitchen and on the sofa. They said, “We’re just going to be here with you.” That’s the power of koinonia. That’s the power of community.

The deeper the pain, the fewer words you use. If you are talking to somebody who had a bad hair day, you can talk to them for 30 minutes. But if they just lost a wife or a son, you show up and you shut up. There’s nothing you can say that will help. They don’t need your words. They need you. It’s the ministry of presence. Pastors and people always go, “I didn’t call them because I didn’t know what to say.” Don’t say anything. Show up and shut up. It’s the ministry of presence. Just be there.

Show up and shut up. That is what your small group needs to do in times of grief. The deeper the pain, the fewer words you use.

Thank you, Rick, David and Carey for helping me in my time of grief.

This article originally appeared on smallgroupnetwork.com, and is used by permission. 

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Josh Hunt loves small groups. He travels extensively training group leaders. He has spoken in some of America's leading churches including First Baptist Church Atlanta and Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA. He has written several books on group life including You Can Double Your Class in Two Years or Less, Disciplemaking Teachers and Make Your Group Grow. He writes a popular online curriculum called Good Questions Have Groups Talking. His website is www.joshhunt.com