LIFE at Wheaton Bible Church

Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine

Struggles Shared. Hope Restored.

Christ-Centered Support Communities at WBC

WHEN trouble comes—when we experience the loss of a loved one, the pain of a broken marriage, a personal failure, or some other life-shaking circumstance—at the very time when we most need the Church to be the Church to us, too often our human tendency is to withdraw. Whether or not we physically “lock the door and pull down the shades,” the urge to go into hiding is powerful.

For some, that urge to withdraw can come in the midst of a crisis. For others it may be days, weeks, or even months after an initial surge of intense support that feelings of loneliness settle in, along with the belief that no one really understands what we’re going through.

For those of us whose own actions or life-controlling habits have brought on our crisis, the urge to hide is even greater. Few emotions are more effectively used by the Enemy to create alienation than shame.

The truth is that even if you have a network of caring friends and family, you may rightly believe that others—who still have their spouses, their parents, their sons or daughters—can’t fully understand the loss of your loved one. The man or woman in a loving marriage can only try to understand how it feels when a spouse is unfaithful or simply says he or she no longer loves you. And although other moms and dads—who have a partner to share their parenting challenges—may understand some of the ways you struggle as a single parent, they haven’t walked in your shoes. The same could be said of those who haven’t faced your fight with addiction or your history of abuse.

That reality is at the heart of our vision for WBC’s support groups, a ministry that brings those facing these kinds of painful life circumstances together in an understanding and encouraging community.

“It’s within community that we can experience healing,” said Bill Brown, WBC’s support group coordinator. “That’s where we can share with others who are right where we’re at, where we gain insight from those who are farther along, and where we can find hope in the experiences of those who have come through circumstances just like ours and found, as one woman shared, that, ‘the joy was beginning to return.’

“Hope,” Bill adds, “is what brings us to these groups, and hope does not disappoint.”

Does one of these groups sound like just what you need? Or is there a friend or a neighbor or a family member who comes to mind? These support communities are places where the Church, the Body of Christ, is able to minister to the hurting and the broken, places where pain is shared, its power is lessened, practical insight is taught, and hope is restored.


OTHER WBC SUPPORT GROUPS 


QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY OF THESE OR OTHER GROUPS? 

Contact WBC Support Group Coordinator Bill Brown, bbrown@wheatonbible.org, 630.876.6686, or check them out online wheatonbible.org/supportgroups.

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This entry was posted on December 8, 2011 by in Winter 2011/2012 and tagged , , , , .

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