Every dark moment in life is waiting for someone to shed God’s light on it.
Recently there has been a streak of suicides in our community and we chose to answer it with the hope of Jesus Christ.
We hosted a Life Event with our friend and world-travelling speaker, Chad Daniel.
His own life has been touched by the pain of suicide and his firsthand experience, teamed with his faith make Chad a powerful candidate to speak into the lives of those who are a part of the loved ones affected by suicide and suicidal thoughts.
We prepared a night to confront suicide, depression, and the grief of those left in its wake. The house was filled with people!
I spoke to several members that had invited community members, friends, family, loved ones, and numerous people that came out simply to be ministered to for their own challenges. Chad delivered an encouraging and insightful message, he showed a short documentary on a visit to Mt Fuji in Japan.
A forest there, called the Sea of Trees, is a world-famous hot spot for people to visit with the intent to commit suicide. Afterwards the people were welcomed to the front for prayer and ministry and people flooded the altars. I personally had a chance to pray for and minister to several young people about their hurts and pains.
It was a moving sight to see the tears stream down peoples’ faces as they presented their pain to God at the altar and be comforted by the ministry teams, pastors, and volunteers.
Prayer continued well after the service ended as people lingered in God’s presence, began to talk, and received personal prayers.
If you or a loved one responded to that night, I’d like to encourage you to continue the conversation that started that Wednesday evening.
Especially if you had a loved one respond to the ministry time or if you know someone that needs to be spoken to about these subjects, I’d like to ask you to make it a point to start a conversation with these things in mind:
1. Celebrate Their Honesty – Depression, suicide, and thoughts like this carry a stigma of shame, so celebrate your loved one being honest about their feelings and thoughts. People do what you celebrate, so celebrate their honesty, and you’ll find they will continue to be honest with you.
2. Listen To Understand – We often learn to listen so we can respond with our ideas or advice. This can undercut and discourage someone that simply needs to be heard, so if someone is hsraing their heart, listen actively without thinking about how you will respond or what you will say next and be immersed in what they are saying.
3. Help To Create a Change Plan – Your loved one may need help taking what God is ministering to them and creating a plan for them to make real life change. It might be creating intentional follow up conversations, changing relationships, establishing scheduled prayer times, or even calling to make professional counseling appointments. Be a cheerleader and offer yourself to keep them accountable.
For more information you can visit http://www.YouthBytes.org, or www.Death2Suicide.org to see what Chad Daniel is up to.
Additionally, if you or a loved one is in urgent need of suicide help, contact professional help ASAP or contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
And of course, keep your church attendance up, the Word of God is powerful and can change even the most pained and hurt of hearts.
See you next service,
Youth Pastor – The Rock Church