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How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry

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Does one of these describe you?


  • "I'm thinking about starting a small group for people in my church who have a chronic illness but I don't really know where to start . . ."
  • "I feel like God wants me to start a small group to encourage people with illness. How do I commit to it with my illness constantly changing?"
  • "I've led a support group for people with illness in my community, but my pastor has asked me to consider something at my church. I'm a little bit scared of not having all the answers when it comes to my faith and my disease." 
  • "I was sure God wanted me to start an illness small group in my church. But when I presented it to the pastoral team they didn't seem enthusiastic, and they told me to come back after my illness was better. I got the feeling they wanted me to be healed first. So. . . what now?


Drawing from more than a decade's worth of feedback from hundreds of Christian small groups for those with chronic illness, author Lisa Copen will guide you through your concerns, worries, and questions and help you put your passion into action.


You will discover:


  • What a chronic illness is and does it matter if it's invisible
  • A brief history of illness ministry in the medical community
  • Benefits of small group ministry for the individual & the church
  • How to lead when you are ill
  • Steps to formulate the purpose of your small group, the logistics, guidelines, & your vision
  • Preparing your presentation to church leadership
  • Planning your first meeting
  • Promotion & attendance tips
  • Maintaining a positive group when things get difficult
  • How to answer tough questions about healing & suffering
  • A special chapter on ways a church can make a significant difference in the lives of the chronically ill
  • Bonus checklist to follow along while you plan!




"Lisa Copen is wise beyond her years. Her personal victory over the pain of chronic illness and her care for those around her with invisible illnesses is a role model for churches worldwide. With 1 in  every 2 people dealing with pain, Lisa's practical wisdom sheds much needed light on this silent majority sitting in our pews and helps us reach out with the compassion of Christ." -- Pam Farrel, author of over 30 books including best selling, Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti, 10 Best Decisions a  Woman Can Make, 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can  Make, 10 Best Decisions a Couple Can Make, The Marriage Code


"How to Start a Chronic Illness Small Group Ministry is helpful" pilgrims help each other while also helping the church understand that the unique needs of those with chronic illness are not an inconvenience or a threat, but an opportunity to do what Jesus did. For He did not despise a bent reed or snuff out a flickering wick when He walked this earth, and now He has left that ministry of strengthening and encouraging to us." -David B. Biebel, D.Min., author of If God Is So Good Why Do I Hurt So Bad

Below is a series of videos with tips from the book with Lisa.



Author: Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Publishing, 320 pages
Lisa donates 100% of the profits to Rest Ministries.
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
ISBN: 978-0971660083

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