7/07/2010

Can churches be more active in the fight against domestic violence

Can churches be more active in the fight against domestic violence? Yes! The church's role in domestic violence is multifaceted. The ministry may look very different depending on whether you are working with victims in the congregation or raising awareness in the community. Not only does the church have the possibility of being in ministry to the survivor of domestic violence, but to children (if there are any), the abuser, their family members and wider circle of friends.

Abuse spreads out like ripples in a pond. It is very important to keep this in mind when working with victims within the congregation. The persons at the epicenter are the abuser and victim. The "ripple" around them includes children, then parents, grandparents, other family members and friends. In small churches these ripples can encompass all or most of a congregation. Ministry in these situations needs to be done in a thoughtful manner so as to keep the victim and children safe.

Raising awareness can take many forms. Special prayer services during domestic violence awarness month in October can be a moving service. Some churches put domestic violence information in the church restrooms all year. Posters and small cards from your local domestic violence agency are traditional items. Other spots might include information on a bulletin board, a poster in the fellowship hall or other gathering area.

Ministry to the community can include a special prayer service or prayer walks. Hosting a fundraiser for your local domestic violence program is a good way to involve the community, raise awareness and support God's hurting children at the same time.

The first step is to ask your pastor what training he or she has received about domestic violence. The next step is to prayerfully discern what God is calling your church to do.


Do you feel God is calling your church to be more sensitive to the needs of survivors? Gayle can help. She is available to speak to groups of any size. In return, all she asks for is help covering  expenses. This can be as simple as a love offering. To learn more email contact@imaginepublicity.com today.

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