Help in Times of Unexpected Loss, Tragedy, Change, Stress
Life can be disrupted by the unexpected. Emergencies arise. Sickness and death threaten normalcy. Disaster strikes. People can get overwhelmed by life's circumstances.
The training and resources provided here are for the lay person desiring to bring people hope to help them cope in life's difficult moments.
Click on a topic below:
What Constitutes a Crisis?
According to Webster's Dictionary, a crisis is . . .
"an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs whose outcome will make a decisive difference for better or worse."
A crisis, then, is usually a time of loss, change, or stress that takes people out of their comfort zones and normal coping patterns. It is a significant challenging and stretching time that may be a turning point in one's life.
Effectively walking through this time will lead to growth. A bad situation will be used for good. Inability to cope may lead to depression, substance abuse, taking anger out on others in violence or abuse, or perhaps suicide. The person will be left with feelings of guilt and failure which will affect future coping. He/she will begin a downward spiral and will tend to move from one crisis to another.
Often a crisis is precipitated by a loss of some sort or a situation that threatens normalcy or expectations. The greater the threat, the more severe the crisis will seem.
Some of these events are predictable due to developmental factors. From the first day of school through retirement, change is inevitable. Some situations, however, come from unexpected tragedies.
Some predicaments could have been controlled had the person made different choices in life but some happen outside of a person's control.
Is the event itself, however, the crisis or is it a person's response to the situation? What turns a problem into a crisis? What makes a problem, loss, tragedy, or stress seem like a crisis to one person and not to another? For some life will basically come to a halt when stricken with trying events. Others, while still hurting, will continue to function and for the most part carry on with life as normal.
In keeping with Webster's definition, the crisis is the instability and threat the event produces. A person's response to the upheaval will determine, in large part, its outcome.
Precipitating events leading to a crisis could include:
Clicking on the links below the precipitating events will take you to articles on other sites or to one of our affiliate bookstores. While seeking to choose sites and books that are doctrinally sound, the Ministry Tools Resource Center makes no claim to total endorsement of any listing.
- adverse pregnancy diagnosis, birth, or miscarriage
- Article: How Can I Help A Friend Who's Had A Miscarriage?
- Articles: Miscarriage
- Articles: Infertility
- Book: Hope for the Future New Testament
- death of a loved one
- Book: Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love by Raymond Mitsch & Lynn Brookside
- Book: A Grace Disguised by Gerald Sittser
- Book: A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
- Article: Comforting & Helping People Through Their Loss
- Articles: Troubled with Death
- Click Here for more resources on dealing with loss & grieving
- financial loss
- Book: Financial CPR: 7 Steps to Avoid a Financial Crisis by James L. Paris & J. W. Dicks
- Book: Financial Crisis - Group's Emergency Response Handbooklet Series by Group Publishing
- Click Here for more resources on dealing with financial stewardship
- job loss
- Article: Ministry to People Facing Unemployment
- Articles: Changing Jobs
- Click Here for more resources on dealing with the workplace
- marital breakdown or divorce
- Book: When the One You Love Wants to Leave: Guidance and Comfort for Surviving Marital Crisis by Donald Harvey
- Book: My Friend is Struggling With . . . Divorce of Parents by Josh McDowell & Ed Steward (Out of print but may find it used at Amazon.com)
- Click Here for more resources on dealing with marriage, separation & divorce
- mid-life insecurities
- Book: Halftime by Bob Buford
- Book: Lost In The Middle: Midlife and The Grace of God by Paul David Tripp
- Book: Men in Mid-Life Crisis by Jim Conway
- Book: Midlife Manual for Men by Stephen Arterburn, John Shore
- ministry demands
- Book: Escape Crisis Mode - Audiobook by Lee Strobel (Out of print but may find it used at Amazon.com)
- Book: When Christians Retire: Finding New Purpose in Life After Work by Dwight Hervey Small
- Articles: Transitions: Retirement
- Click Here for more resources on our senior years
- serious or chronic illness
- Book: Spiritual Care: A Guide for Caregivers by Judith Allen Shelly
- Book: Life On Hold: Finding Hope in the Face of Serious Illness by Laurel Brunvoll & David Seiler
- Click Here for more resources dealing with sickness & being shut-in
- tragedy (i.e. accident, fire, flood, earthquake, etc.)
- Book: When Tragedy Strikes by Charles Stanley (Out of print but may find it used at Amazon.com)
- Book: Trust & Tragedy: Encountering God in Times of Crisis by Tommy Tenney (Out of print but may find it used at Amazon.com)
- Article: Ten Steps A Church Can Take
- Article: How Congregations Can Care in Times of Disaster
- Click Here for more resources on dealing with tragedies