As we look at the role of church in our lives, what it has stood for in the past, for those coming new to the experience, and those growing up in some form of church... we have identified these 4 types of care... along with combinations of them:
1. CRSIS: Most of us (probably all of us) will go through some sort of crisis in our lives. What would a church that helps us through a crisis' look like? How do we offer genuine support to our church family when the unexpected, or tragic happens?
2. LOSS OF FAITH: many of us have been told wha we "should believe" - but that does not mean we always do. Questions arise. Experiences change our world view. What if our faith is slow to catch up? Shouldn't church be a safe place to explore these things? That isn't generally what churches are known for though.
Not all of us believe the same things. Some of us are at different stages of our journey. Others of us see the world, the Scriptures, and God differently. Let's find ways to embrace this. Work with this. And use our diversity to grow, and/or support in those faith valleys.
3. REJECTION: In all groups there are the "ins" and the "outs" and it is especially painful to feel rejection in church. We know it shouldn't happen. But we also know it does. How can we offer Spiritual Care to those feeling rejected while helping them grow and adapt in their faith walk too?
4. UNANSWERED PRAYER: Put another way... life does not always work out as we planned for it to. It's not the same as loss of faith. We still believe, we just don't see what God is up to. Or the journey is harder than anticipated or we are able to handle. We pray, but things are not going "to plan". How can your church help in these circumstances? How can you help others in your church going through this?
Right now, this is aspirational. We have many questions, but few tangible actions. But we'd like to really start to get to grips with these ideas.
RIGHT NOW: look for announcements about this, and come join the groups looking at this topic. Be part of the solution, and you might find your own experiences improving.