Tip 9: Responding to Someone Who Is Hurting
Responding to someone who is hurting means allowing them to express and process their pain in the context of the group. Emotional pain is a normal part of life, and therefore a normal part of group life. It’s okay to express hurt, grief, or other negative emotions, and the group needs to give permission for members to do this.
• Proverbs 19:17—“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord”
• 1 Corinthians 12:26—When one part of us suffers, the rest of us suffer together
Why it’s important:
• People feel cared about when we respond
• It presents an opportunity for growth
• We learn how to respond to others
How to do it:
• Validate (identify with) an individual’s pain
– Draw out negative feelings
– Avoid: Minimizing; Spiritualizing; Ignoring/denying
• Offer comfort
• Offer prayer
Share Your Thoughts
Has your group struggled in this area? Share your stories and tips with fellow small group leaders in the comments section below.