Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive...

CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

“Christian community is the place where we keep the flame of hope alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us.” Henri Nouwen

Community.

It all begins with God and the decision to follow Him. For Chronic Joy, that includes 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:

Build An Illness Ministry
Small Group Policy
Small Group Roles

Community can be challenging for those with chronic illness. Why?

  • 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 out small groups in creative ways.
  • Meeting times and places may be difficult due to symptoms, medications, treatments, and/or energy reserves.
  • We might need transportation to meetings.
  • We might need financial assistance to purchase materials.
  • We might need wheelchair access to bathrooms, elevators, and classrooms.

These hurdles and so many more make traditional community challenging, yet we were made for community, so where does that leave us?

Let’s begin to broaden the vision for community. There are many creative options available today, tools like Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype. With God at the center, community can creatively thrive.

Because community is important to God, it’s important to Chronic Joy Ministry too. That’s why we’ve published the first three books in the Chronic Joy Thrive study series, the first book in our Abide study series, as well as a companion resource for small group leaders.

Our hearts’ desire is for small group communities to develop, grow, and thrive.

For Churches

How does your church care for those affected by chronic illness?

Does your church effectively serve and include those affected by chronic physical and/or mental illness? Do you have 3 minutes? We’d love your help! Include your voice. Take our short SURVEY FOR CHURCHES.

 

For Individuals

How does the church care for you?

How has chronic illness affected you? A few minutes of your time can change the way the church ministers to those affected by chronic physical and/or mental illness – building community that thrives. Take the SURVEY FOR INDIVIDUALS.

Would your church like to survey those in your congregation and receive specific results? Please email us at: care@chronic-joy.org.

Studies

THRIVE SERIES

DISCOVERING HOPE: Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

BOOK 1 

This 10-chapter study invites participants to experience radical hope and compassionate change in a life with chronic illness.

No matter how dark the days, how wild the storm, how deep the valley, or how long the winter, there is hope.

There is always hope.

LEARN MORE.

FINDING PURPOSE: Rediscovering Meaning in a Life with Chronic Illness

BOOK 2

What if purpose looks different than we believe?

This 10-chapter study invites participants to release cultural and traditional definitions of purpose, and instead, to embrace God’s – a timeless definition rooted in His Word and as refreshing as a gentle spring rain.

LEARN MORE.

EMBRACING WORTH: Understanding Your Value in a Life with Chronic Illness

BOOK 3 

This 10-chapter study powerfully reminds us that our value isn’t found in what we can or cannot do, but in Christ alone. Regardless of what we’ve lost through chronic illness, this isn’t the end of our story, for in spite of our circumstances, in the midst of the hard, when we’re not sure we can take even one more breath, God is still good.

LEARN MORE.

ABIDE SERIES

I TAKE YOU IN SICKNESS & IN HEALTH: Marriage with Chronic Illness

Rejuvenate, Revitalize, Rekindle and Reconnect

This insightful and enriching 10-chapter study, designed just for couples, offers you and your spouse a safe place to grieve, heal, grow, and begin to dream together again – to thrive as one – in sickness and in health.

LEARN MORE.

COMPANION RESOURCE

GRACE, TRUTH & TIME: Facilitating Thriving Small Groups

GRACE, TRUTH & TIME is a valuable resource for leaders. Learn to lead through God’s grace; create a space for spiritual growth and healing; empathize, listen and engage with those in pain; grow in prayer and compassion; foster hope and encouragement; build small group communities that thrive.

LEARN MORE.

Resources

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.

SMALL GROUPS

This downloadable PDF provides helpful tips for organizing your small group and defining group roles. SMALL GROUPS

BUILD AN ILLNESS MINISTRY

This practical guide walks you through the first steps toward building a chronic illness small group in your church or organization. BUILD AN ILLNESS MINISTRY

SMALL GROUP POLICY

This useful tool provides a framework for grace and peace in chronic illness small groups. SMALL GROUP POLICY

CREATIVE WAYS TO SERVE

Chronic illness can make serving in traditional or culturally familiar ways more challenging, but not impossible. We invite you to discover creative new ways to love God and love others right where you are, however you are able. CREATIVE WAYS TO SERVE

Even More

HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE ACTION

TED TALK – Simon Sinek has a simple, but powerful model for inspirational leadership – starting with a golden circle and the question: “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright brothers. Watch HERE.

EVERYDAY LEADERSHIP

TED Talk – We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Watch HERE.

Our Licensing Agreement provides the framework for churches and organizations to launch Chronic Joy programs for those affected by chronic physical and/or mental illness. Taking this important step opens the door to community and invites people to discover hope, find purpose, embrace worth and encounter God’s indescribable joy as they learn to do life together. 

Are you interested in starting a small group or a chronic illness ministry in your church

Contact us: care@chronic-joy.org.

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