Three In The Morning – Ministering to Your People Danny Ringer

3:00 a.m. Ministering to Your People
3:00 a.m. – Ministering To Your People
Purpose Statement
Sunday School or Small Group class members are one telephone call away from their life being
forever change. The call in the middle of the night is almost always a bearer of bad news. Most
of us have just come out of a storm in our life, or going through a storm currently and or will be
going to go through a life changing storm. The purpose of this training session is to provide
ministerial resources to class leaders and members in the event they are called upon to minister
to a person in crisis. This training session is designed to assist the participants in the initial
event of a crisis. This training session does not qualify participants in any way to distinguish
themselves as trained Chaplains or Counselors. The person completing this one hour training
class should be able to demonstrate some initial skills in meeting the immediate needs of class
members in crisis.
Before the Session
Focal Wall, Room Setup, & Decoration Ideas
 White Large Cut out of your state. This will be the focal wall. Pictures of police cars, fire
trucks, graveyards, hospitals, etc…
 On each seat give a sample sheet for emergency numbers for small group Bible study.
 Three state maps with task written on the map in marker.
Resources to Collect & Prepare
 Collect pictures for focal wall.
 Prepare cut outs for storm advisory, watch and warning.
 Prepare three maps with task for groups written on each map.
Audio/Visual Needs
 Paper and markers.
During the Session
Procedure Steps
Small group Bible study in Southern Baptist Churches today are very award of the LifeSpan
vision and plan for balanced spiritual development at each stage in life. Class members are
encouraged to connect, grow, serve and go through the small group Bible study. The greatest
compliment to any small group Bible study leader or class member is to be called during crisis
by a member of the small group Bible study. Training members to fulfill this ministry is the goal
of this training session.
Have you ever thought about being a storm chaser? The most important aspect of being a
storm chaser is your safety. The best way to provide safety is to attend storm chasing training
and learn from professionals about storm chasing. The second most important aspect is staying
alert of storms, their location and possible destinations. Storms are not a precise science and
3:00 a.m. Ministering to Your People
situations can change in an instant. Storm chasers are trained to stay out of the path of the
storm, but within the immediate storm area. Thirdly, storm chasers who have been trained and
activated must be ready to respond to the designated storm area immediately. The storm
chaser must have be confident in his training and his bag packed.
Small group Sunday School ministry has some of the same characteristics. Small group
Sunday School class leaders and members must…
a. Ask the class for key words in this text. Some of the key words will include:
Everyone, hears, words of mine, act, compared, wise, built, house, rock, rain,
floods, winds, slammed, not, fall, foolish, great.
b. As the class shares key words, reinforce that these are the words of Jesus and
we should “Hear, know and do.” This fulfills the first stage of LifeSpan birth
through sixth grade.
c. Ask the class to divide in small groups with prepared questions written on maps.
Group 1 will develop answers to; “What storms rain upon people’s lives today?”
Group 2 will develop answers to; “What worries flood the hearts and minds of
people during a storm?” Group 3 will develop answers to; “What winds of
assistance to people blow to during life’s storms?” Write answers from groups on
a large paper clouds attached to the wall.
d. Remind your class STORMS will come to your class members.
a. CARE-GROUPS are the KEY component to be taught in this situation. CAREGROUPS are class members who have taken responsibility to maintain a
relationship with a regular attendee, an absent member and a missionary
member teaching in preschool, children or youth.
b. CARE-GROUP leaders are kind of like the television meteorologist or
weatherman or woman. CARE-GROUP leaders advise others during a class
member or prospective member’s storm.
c. At this point give some weather advisories; Cut the shape of your state (For our
case Oklahoma) from white paper. Then cut three different pieces of paper that
will cover three different areas of the state. The left part of the state will be
GREEN, the middle part of your state is to be yellow and the right part of your
state is to be RED. The GREEN part will have the word ADVISORY at the top.
Ask the class to share ways that the class can advise others about
circumstances or the storms of life. EXAMPLE: Prayer list, hospital visitation,
word of mouth, request by the individuals going through the storm. The
YELLOW part will have the word WATCH at the top. Ask the class to share ways
they can be a part of people’s lives going through stormy situations. EXAMPLE:
Driving people to chemotherapy, enlisting class members to sit with members or
prospects during surgeries for themselves or relatives, developing a class
visitation schedule for people who have had surgery, delivering meals after
surgery or the birth of a child, delivering meals and supplies in the loss of a loved
one. The RED part will have the word WARNING at the top. Ask the class to
3:00 a.m. Ministering to Your People
share ways they minister to people in the crisis. EXAMPLE: At the home where
a loved one has died, at the hospital emergency waiting room, at the funeral
d. Have someone read II Corinthians 1:3-4.
a. What happens when the house is slammed and falls? What do you say? For
most of us the house falls when we lose a loved one. Most of us don’t know
what to say during these times.
o Avoid the person.
o Assign guilt or blame.
o Address “Why?” questions without necessary precautions.
o Minimize the loss.
o Change the subject away from the situation.
o Try to talk too much.
o Don’t Say:
o “I know how you feel’
o “It was God’s will.”
o “(S)he’s in a better place now.”
o “Time heals all wounds.”
o “Be brave.”
o “Don’t cry.”
o “(S)he’s at rest.”
o “The Lord knows best.”
o “Be glad it’s over.”
o “You need to be strong for…”
o “Call me if you need anything.”
Acknowledge the loss, specifically.
Give permission to grieve.
Listen non-judgmentally.
Allow the grieving person to talk about the deceased.
Ask open-ended questions about the event.
Offer practical assistance.
Empower with small choices and decisions.
Share words of admiration for the deceased, if appropriate.
“I’m so sorry.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
“I cannot begin to understand your pain, but I’m here for
 “Would you like to talk?”
 “(Name of deceased) loved you so much.”
 “may God bless you and give you strength.”
3:00 a.m. Ministering to Your People
 I am grieving with you about _______’s death,”
 I know you are going to miss ________.”
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Chaplain Training Manuel. Revised 2007 NAMB, SBC
As a class member or leader responding to a storm of life the best advice is a “ministry of
presence.” A major premise of care amid crisis is presence. The care of souls first requires
being there. Simple, empathic, listening presence is a primary ministerial act, the
presupposition of all other ministerial acts.” Thomas C. Ogden, Classical Pastoral Care, vol. 4,
Crisis Ministries ( Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1994), 3.
Close the training session with testimonies of people who ministered to them during a storm. If
know one responds give your own illustrations of times you have been ministered to or have
ministered to someone during a storm. Encourage the group to train CARE-GROUP leaders
and small group leaders, directors, teachers and class members for critical care ministry.
During the 2008 elections Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the question, “At 3:00 a.m. in
the morning who do you want to get the call?” In your small group Bible study who would get
the call at 3:00 a.m.? Train your class and open the door for ministry. A trained class member
can assist their brother or sister who’s been hit with the storm of life to rely on the foundation
that is secure. Remember the storms of life will come. Is your class ready?
Provide a card with emergency numbers for small group leaders and CARE-GROUP leaders.
Encourage the small group to develop this information card for each member and to keep the
card in their purse or billfold.