Ministering to Students in Crisis

Unfortunately, as a product of our fallen world, it’s inevitable that at some point in your ministry career, a member of your youth group will encounter a crisis. Be it a parent death, a fatal car accident, or a global pandemic, we want you to be equipped to love students well in times of crisis. Above all, we hope these resources will point you and your students to the One who is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit (PS 34:18). 


Helping Students Grieve A Loss – Rooted Ministry by Chelsea Erickson 

As we shepherd students in their grief, we can patiently remind them that they serve a God who is well acquainted with the burden of sadness they carry. After all, Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sorrows to the cross (Isaiah 53:4). He is our great Burden-Bearer (Psalm 68:19), and the One who promises to be present with us when our hearts are broken (Psalm 34:18).

Leaning On the God Who Is Always With Us by Katie Polski 

It’s not that God helps us look within in order to conjure up the strength needed to work in a job that’s daunting or to mend a relationship that’s strained. The Psalmist reminds us that God is our strength. He is the power we need in the face of difficulties, no matter how insurmountable they may seem. And we are able to tap into that strength because God is with us; he is as close as our breath, so his strength is our strength.

If He Loved Me, Why Did My Dad Commit Suicide? By Alice Churock 

As with any grief circumstance, initially it is best to use the ‘no questions asked’ approach. The most powerful words are those left unsaid. A gentle touch, and a common tear shed, speak volumes over mustering the “right” thing to say. There is no right thing to say. Death is wrong. It isn’t how our story is supposed to end, which is why need a Savior to redeem it.

A Basic Strategy for Pastoring to Kids in Tragedy: Four Tips by Cameron Cole 

You very much distinguish yourself as a pastor or friend when you show up months or years later and remember their grief. Sending flowers or a note to a family on the anniversary of a loved one’s death is one way to help. At major life transitions, celebrations, or challenges, you can ask if the moment has dredged up any sorrow from the past loss. (These moments always seem to reawaken the sadness.) Showing up again may be the most important aspect of pastoring to people in tragedy.


Nancy Guthrie on What Grieving People Wish You Knew 

In this beautiful episode of the Rooted Podcast, hear from renowned author and speaker Nancy Guthrie about how to speak with people – teenagers in particular – who are in the midst of grief. 

Dr. Gordon Bals on Discussing Grief with Teenagers

Grieving, in the life of a teenager, can result from many events (not just death). In this podcast Anna Harris (Rooted Parent Editor) speaks with the remarkable Dr. Gordon Bals about bringing the gospel to a grieving teenager. Dr. Bals specializes in grief, trauma, and religious and spiritual issues.

How Are We Preparing Our Kids For Suffering in this World with Michelle Reyes

Examining 1 Peter 4:1-19, author and speaker Dr. Michelle Reyes discusses how Christians suffer at the hands of non-believers, the ways that the believing community should care for each other as fellow suffering Christians, and how to find hope in the midst of suffering.

Mary Willson: The Incarnation and the Teenage Soul 

In her message from the 2015 Rooted Conference, Mary Wilson discusses how the theological truths of the incarnation impact our ministry to teenagers.

In addition to our blog and podcast, our Rooted Reservoir subscribers have access to all of the past training videos we develop for our Rooted Regional Groups. This month we invite subscribers to view Alice Churnock’s Video “Crisis Management.”  If you’re a subscriber, head on over to the Rooted Reservoir site and you will find it in your library within the Rooted Regional Group Videos. Find out more about our upcoming Rooted Regional Groups.