Invitation to Community | February 2019
It all starts with God and the decision to follow Him. For Chronic Joy, that includes having a clear Statement of Faith.
In addition to our personal relationship with God, we were created for relationship with one another. Community spurs us on, encouraging and inspiring us. It’s where we care for each other and help one another up.
It takes time for churches and organizations to flesh out chronic illness ministries within their walls. And it takes people willing to lead even when we don’t feel well, which is why we’ve created streamlined and easy-to-use tools and resources. Before we even wrote our first book, we developed resources to make this process easier:
We know that community can be challenging for those with chronic illness. There are often more days we don’t leave home than days we do, and that committing to a traditional small group may be difficult.
- our churches may not understand the significant challenges associated with chronic physical and/or mental illness
- they may not recognize our needs when we don’t look sick
- they may not yet know how to “do” community for those affected by chronic illness or how to flesh small groups out in creative ways
- the time of day or length of meetings may be difficult due to symptoms, medications, treatments or energy reserves
- we may need transportation to the meeting
- we might need financial assistance to purchase materials
- we may need wheelchair access to bathrooms, elevators, and classrooms
These hurdles and so many others make traditional community challenging, yet we know we were made for community, so where does that leave us?
Perhaps as we consider community, we could broaden our vision. There are so many possibilities available to us today: things like Google Hangouts, Facetime, Zoom, and Skype. Community can form, grow, and thrive on-line with God at the center.
Because community is vitally important to God, it’s important to Chronic Joy too, and that’s why we’ve published not only the first three books in the Chronic Joy Thrive Study Series, but also the first book in our Abide Study Series, and a companion resource for small group leaders. Our hearts’ desire is for small group communities to develop, flourish and thrive.
Our printable guide, Creative Ways to Use Our Studies, helps individuals, churches and organizations think out-of-the-box to connect with one another and build community.
In just a few weeks, a church in Michigan will be launching their own chronic illness ministry under the Chronic Joy name to help those in their church discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter God’s indescribable joy as they learn to do life together, thriving in a life with chronic illness. Our brand new Licensing Agreement provides the framework for churches and organizations to take that important step.
Are you interested in starting a small group or or a chronic illness ministry in your church? This post makes a great conversation-starter!
CREATIVE WAYS TO USE OUR STUDIES
Looking for creative ways to connect with others as you unpack the Chronic Joy studies? This FREE printable does just that! Click here for Creative Ways to Use Our Studies.
President and Co-Founder at Chronic Joy Ministry
Pamela is a leader and a visionary following God’s calI to inspire those affected by chronic illness to discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter joy. She believes every precious life affected by chronic illness is both vital and purposed.
Chronic illness is hard, but there is hope. There is always hope!