Community. It feels like hope. It’s why small groups matter.

So many in the chronic illness community feel a deep sense of isolation and loneliness. Small groups celebrate together, suffer together, pray together, and learn to lean on and trust in God together.

Featured Books

Grace, Truth & Time: Facilitating Thriving Small Groups

Heather MacLaren Johnson

“Grace, Truth & Time is a well-thought-out, prayed-over resource that could help transform your life!” Mark Mallwitz, Servant to Leaders, BASICS “Is it daunting to start a new ministry? Absolutely. Is is difficult to reach out to the chronically ill? No, thanks to Grace, Truth & Time. Through this incredible resource, Dr. Heather Johnson leads anyone with a willing heart into wise, scriptural and empowering ministry to the suffering.” Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers 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.

Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering

Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD

Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart is an essential guide on how to care for and relate to people as they encounter difficult times in life. Forged from author Kenneth C. Haugk’s own experiences of suffering, the book draws on extensive research with more than 4,200 people who have experienced various kinds of suffering in their lives, offering key insights and suggestions of what to say and do—and what not to say or do—when people are hurting.

With its biblical foundation, compassionate approach, and concrete ideas, Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart will help you bring God’s loving presence to hurting people when they need it most.

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

Ruth Haley Barton

“I’m tired of helping others enjoy God. I just want to enjoy God for myself.” With this painful admission, Ruth Haley Barton invites us to an honest exploration of what happens when spiritual leaders lose track of their souls. Weaving together contemporary illustrations with penetrating insight from the life of Moses.

Serve Strong: Biblical Encouragement to Sustain God's Servants

Terry Powell

Serve the Lord long enough and discouragement or some form of opposition is inevitable. Joy-sapping workloads, feelings of inadequacy, lack of fruitfulness, or battle fatigue from spiritual warfare often spurs God’s servants to quit or sabotages their passion. The purpose of this book is to infuse them with biblical perspectives that buoy flagging spirits, boost motivation, and cultivate endurance.

Blog Posts

Your Disaster Zone Is God’s Construction Zone

Last year my family visited the National September 11 Memorial in New York City. It’s a solemn work of art, bringing life and a bit of peace to a place of death and destruction. As my family and I paused there, I found myself grateful that the project’s architects had not covered over the...

your disaster zone is God's construction zone

Laughter Can Help Heal Life’s Most Difficult Times

Not long ago my family was sitting around the dinner table after finishing a meal just lingering in the joy of each other’s company. I don’t even remember what we were talking about, but before I knew it we were all erupting in laughter—the deep belly, tears-running-down-your-cheeks kind, and I...

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter - Job 8:31a

8 Tips for Giving Criticism

When you need to confront, especially as one Christian to another, or as a leader to someone you supervise, here are tips I’ve learned from 40-plus years in vocational ministry. Know the conditions for giving criticism. When is it necessary? *Is the person’s attitude or behavior dishonoring...

What are you really living for?


It is said, “That a picture is worth a thousand words.” Chronic Joy Ministry is pleased to provide images to accompany each of our studies. These may be used to foster conversation with your small group throughout your study, encourage someone who may be having a difficult time, or inspire those in your social media community. There really are so many ways that a beautiful image paired with thoughtful words can make a difference to others. You are welcome to use the images to bless other


Additional images to encourage and inspire hope, purpose, worth and joy can be found at Chronic Joy’s flickr site. These beautiful, high-resolution images are licensed non-commercial creative commons. Perfect to share with your group, on social media or to brighten someone’s day.


More Leader Resources


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.


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


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


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

Even More


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.


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.

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