Ministering to Families in Crisis: The Essential Guide for Nurturing Mental and Emotional Health, Edited byJennifer S. Ripley and James N. Sells and Diane J. Chandler
Ministering to Families in Crisis
  • Length: 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: October 22, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0042
  • ISBN: 9781514000427

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A Guide for Ministry Leaders to Provide Mental Health First Aid

When people encounter a crisis, they often turn to ministry leaders, who may feel unprepared to guide them. Families face a multitude of challenges, from depression and anxiety to relational conflict to trauma and abuse. Providing the right resources and tools to help church members navigate their journeys is a solid starting place for every pastor and ministry leader.

Ministering to Families in Crisis provides leaders with an essential shelf reference for supporting your community's mental and emotional health. In each chapter, Christian leaders with unique expertise address common ministry challenges, providing evidence-based insights and practical suggestions. The book covers a full range of topics affecting families, marriages, children, and teens—including mental illness, LGBTQ+ issues, divorce, disability, poverty, racial trauma, and technology use. Contributors guide leaders on how to provide care and when to offer referrals.

Whatever members' background or experience, the church is a spiritual family that God designed to contribute to their formation and sense of belonging. This book gives ministers the tools and encouragement they need to help family members find hope amid the storms of life.

"Ministering to Families in Crisis, edited by Ripley, Sells, and Chandler, is a comprehensive, biblically based, well-written, and excellent guide for nurturing the mental and emotional health of families in churches who are experiencing crises of all kinds. The editors have assembled a great group of authors who provide substantial and practical help for those ministering to such families. Highly recommended!"

Siang-Yang Tan, senior professor of clinical psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective

"Ministering to Families in Crisis is an invaluable resource for anyone involved in pastoral care or family ministry. With sensitivity and practical wisdom, this comprehensive guide addresses a wide range of challenges families may face. Each chapter is packed with practical strategies, real-life examples, and thoughtful reflections, making it an essential resource for anyone seeking to support and strengthen families in times of crisis. From establishing hope amid the pain of divorce to navigating the complexities of mental illness, LGBTQ+ issues, and domestic violence, this book covers it all, equipping ministry leaders to meet families where they are in the storms of life."

Matthew Stanford, CEO of the Hope and Healing Center and Institute in Houston, Texas

"I wish we didn't need Ministering to Families in Crisis, but I'm sure glad we have it. The difficult truth is that many of the families we serve are indeed hurting and in crisis. The problem is that many of us haven't been trained how to respond. Instead, we often feel afraid or paralyzed, wanting to help but not knowing how. Ministering to Families in Crisis provides the theologically robust and practical guidance we need to love and care for our families. All children, student, and family ministry leaders should read Ministering to Families in Crisis and keep it within reach."

Brian Dembowczyk, associate publisher for Thomas Nelson Bibles and author of Family Discipleship that Works

"Ministering to Families in Crisis is a timely and indispensable resource for any church committed to nurturing mental and emotional well-being. With compassion and expertise, the authors tackle complex issues affecting families today, offering practical guidance rooted in both Scripture and evidence-based approaches. This comprehensive guide equips pastors and church leaders to address a myriad of challenges—from mental illness to racial trauma—with grace and understanding. A must-read for those seeking to cultivate a community of support and healing within their congregation."

Samuel Rodriguez, lead pastor of New Season Church in Sacramento, California, and author of Your Mess, God's Miracle

"The family is the cornerstone of society and the bedrock of the Church. It matters more than we all know. This new resource is a welcome hands-on guide for ministry leaders to help our families navigate the complexities of the mental health disaster we are facing."

Tim Clinton, president of the American Association of Christian Counselors

Read an Excerpt



1. Establishing Hope amid the Storm of Family Crises—Jennifer S. Ripley, Diane J. Chandler, and James N. Sells
2. Spiritual Formation in Families—Diane J. Chandler
3. Strategies to Discern Marriage and Family Health and Functioning—Jennifer S. Ripley, John Van Epp, and J. P. De Gance
4. Care and Support of Families Impacted by Mental Illness—Stephen Grcevich
5. LGBTQ+ Issues in Marriage Ministry—Mark A. Yarhouse and Anna Brose
6. Ministering to Families When Children Come Out—Janet B. Dean, Stephen P. Stratton, and Mark A. Yarhouse
7. Domestic Violence and Church Ministry—Darby A. Strickland
8. Handling Divorce as a Ministry Leader: Tutorial from a Family Lawyer—Lynne Marie Kohm
9. Families Affected by Disability—Ryan Wolfe
10. Screens, Children, and Teens: The Challenges Are Real, and You Can Help—Kathy Koch
11. Adults and Screens: Preventing Crisis Through Digital Discipleship—Arlene Pellicane
12. Race, Discrimination, and Stress in the Family—Cassandra D. Page and Eric M. Brown
13. Ministering to Families in Poverty and Financial Crisis—Kristen Kansiewicz
14. The Challenge of Helping Couples in Conflict—David C. Olsen
15. Trauma in Families: Ministering When the Unimaginable Happen—Fred C. Gingrich and Heather Davediuk Gingrich
16. Ministry to Blended Families—David P. Mikkelson and Suzanne E. Mikkelson
17. Families and Addictions—Megan M. Cannedy and James N. Sells
18. Families, Aging, and Caregiving—Terry D. Hargrave and Paul Flores

List of Contributors


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