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Shootings and Small Churches

 —  December 17, 2013 — 2 Comments

Rick Lawrence’s post yesterday about his daughter being in the hallway with the Arapahoe shooter has me thinking of how the small church should/could respond to tragedies in their students’ lives and schools.

At first thought, one might make the mistake that responding appropriately is tougher for the small church since there are fewer “paid” staff people able to dedicate the time to be at the local school with their students after such a terrifying event. IDK; maybe its true. But I think the small church has an advantage in the sense that its intimate numbers allows for a much needed “sense of family” in such a desperate time.

Here’s what a small church youth ministry can do if such a situation should strike their kids’ community:

1) Don’t panic! (Its best if this emergency plan has already been determined and all the church has to do is “sound the alarm.”)

2) Gather together as the Church at the church.

3) Put the emergency game plan into play. This includes the “prayer coverage” team, the “at the school” team, the “communications” team, “the church is open and available” team and “food/drinks” team (there’s a reason “comfort” food is named just that.)

4) Eat. Pray. Love. Repeat.

What am I missing?


Stephanie Caro

Stephanie Caro

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Stephanie Caro has been involved in ministry to youth and youth workers in the local church since…well, a long time – 30+ years. Her humorous, straightforward style keeps her busy presenting and coaching at conferences, training events, camps, mission trips, retreats, churches, etc. Her latest books are, “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker,” published by Group/Simply Youth Ministry. Stephanie is a contributing author to several youth ministry resources in addition to her regular column “Smaller Church Youth Ministry” in Group Magazine. Stephanie is Senior Consultant for Mark DeVries’ Ministry Architects and the director for their Small Church Ministry Architects division. She and her hubby, Steve, live in Houston, TX. All 7 kids are grown and out – praise God!

2 responses to Shootings and Small Churches

  1. We just had a tragedy at our local school and we contacted each of our students via text or online to check in with them personally and let them know that we were praying for them. The nice thing about a small church is that we could individually reach out.

    • Stephanie Caro

      Great thing to do! I agree; its the benefit of being a small church: you can reach all your kids pretty easily.


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