FIRST RESPONDER CHURCH & LAW ENFORCEMENT CHAPLAINCY SACRAMENTO PARTNERSHIP
How can your church serve most effectively to victims of trauma?
Trauma can be summed up as “too much too quick”.
What can your church do as the Body of Christ to address some of these local needs?
First step in the right direction by making sure that your expectations are realistic.
Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) tells the story of a man who cared enough to minister to a victim of a sudden and traumatic attack. The parable provides us with a clear example of what it means to help those who are suffering in the aftermath of a trauma: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. The First Responder Church models the Samaritan’s following principles:
Effective ministry involves a willingness and an ability to enter into the feelings and experiences of other people. It’s important to realize that there is no quick and easy way to reach out to victims of traumas and other tragedies. Events of this nature generally push people beyond the limits of anything they’ve ever had to endure before. Our first responsibility is simply to be with them and listen to them in their pain and confusion.
2. Selflessness and Flexibility:
In order to help the bleeding man by the roadside the Samaritan had to interrupt his journey. Compassion compelled him to put his own plans on the back burner. We can’t follow his example unless we’re willing to make the same kind of sacrifice. Lend a hand when it is needed, not just when it is convenient.
3. Emphasis on Practical Needs:
Resist the temptation to over-spiritualize. “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,” writes James, “and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” (James 2:15, 16). When people are suffering, Christian workers sometimes jump too quickly into a message about eternal hope and salvation in Christ. Our first priority in a situation like this is to meet concrete needs. The Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento will provide Trauma Response and Care Training for your church to help people you will be serving, process and get better, not bitter. They will See God’s Hope and Know God’s Love through your compassion and actions.
4. Personal Ownership:
The Samaritan assumed responsibility for the expense of the injured man’s care (Luke 10:35). In effect, he said, “This is my problem, not somebody else’s.” You can do the same by supporting with your time, your money, and your material resources. The Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento will contact your church with the incident and the victim’s confidential needs and then your Church will decide what your church is able to do, howbeit, meals, counseling, and visits. Many victims need an opportunity to “de-brief” about their losses and traumatic experiences.
Your Church, in partnership with the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Sacramento (LECS), will be a resource showing God’s Hope, to hurting, and traumatized people.