For people who are experiencing the effects of a fallen world (Genesis 3), grief is not uncommon. It is important to not withdraw, but to move towards God and towards others. Scott Mozingo, the Pastor of Community at Grace Church, gives us his thoughts on the question of grief and counseling:
"At Grace, we take the role of shepherding and care for our members very seriously. It is helpful to think in terms of shepherding in two categories -- crisis (immediate) and discipleship (ongoing). Counseling is one form of immediate care that occurs when someone is dealing with grief. This often takes the form of meeting with a pastor, and some specific instruction and care is given to help get through the immediate state of crisis.
However, as we know, grief does not go away just because an immediate state of crisis has passed. In my opinion, this is where the real work of the church begins, as the main avenue for that type of member-care is through authentic, Christ-centered community. The primary form for this at Grace Church is Community Groups. Community Groups provide an ongoing discipleship context where one struggling with grief could receive encouragement and admonition, as well as give back to the community from their experience. This two-way relationship is God's primary plan for our spiritual growth.
In addition, there may be seasons where specialized mentoring is needed. Whenever we can, we are glad to connect folks together in a mentoring-type relationship for a short period. However, mentoring and pastoral care cannot take the place of an active and ongoing community of believers that walk through life -- good and bad -- with one another."
If you would like to get more information on receiving counseling at Grace Church or to get connected in authentic, Christ-centered community, email Chris McGowan, our Connecting Pastor, at email@example.com.
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