How to Offer Help and Counsel After a Mass Shooting

Posted by Phil

Parents, consider this article, packed with resources, that was published by our parent company.  We hope it can help as you navigate communicating with your child about current events and future events. We are thinking of our Camp Family during hard times when tragedy strikes around us.
-The Ridgecrest Summer Camps Team

Unsure how to respond or minister to people after a mass shooting? These resources can help.

Sin has broken everything. When tragedy strikes in the form of a school shooting, it reminds us of this harsh reality and wrenches our hearts no matter how close or far we may be from the people and communities affected by the violence and grief. Because of the world we live in today and the speed and unfiltered nature of our access to news around the world, school shootings and other tragedies require us to be ready to counsel and lead our churches and loved ones through these situations at a moment’s notice.

Whether you are counseling a family member of a school shooting victim, having a conversation with a child about a news report he or she saw on television, or taking preventative measures to protect your church from a similar tragedy, we want to help. Following is a collection of articles, Bible study discussion guides, video training, and podcasts to help you, your churches, and your families.

(Article adapted from –


How To Talk With Your Kids And Teenagers About School Shootings

The Lord is Close to the Brokenhearted

Grief in Times of Crisis

Helping Children Cope with Grief

Guiding Children During Crisis

Bible Study Discussion Guides

God’s Embrace in Our Grief: Psalm 116

Suffering Well with Others: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7


Helping Hurting Kids and Their Families

Church Security with Ron Aguilar

Video Training

For the next two weeks, the Church Safety and Security training on Ministry Grid is available for FREE. Select a training below and log in with your LifeWay ID or register for a free account. Then click the “Add To My Tasks” button in the description to get started.

The training includes:

Church Safety and Security

Church Security Team

Emergency Response Planning

Lockdown Procedures

Responding to an Active Shooting

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Conversation Starters: God’s Word is Relevant

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: God’s power helps people.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: We look to doctors with our health needs. We look to the courts to give us justice. We look to family members to step in and help us with various needs. We need each other, but there is only so much any of us can do. Not so with God. He is the perfect, all-powerful Creator who gives us life. We see these very attributes in Scripture. Because the Bible is His Word, it has always reflected His character and power.

Concept: God’s Word is Relevant


Deuteronomy 34:9-12; Joshua 1:1-9

LIFE POINT: God had a plan for Joshua and the Israelites. God spoke to Joshua and said, “Get ready to cross over the Jordan River to the land I am giving you and the Israelites. I will be with you as long as you live.” God said, “Joshua, be strong and brave. Carefully follow the plan I gave Moses. Remember the rules that were written down so you can obey them. If you obey my rules and follow my plan, you will do well in whatever you do. Do not be afraid; I am with you wherever you go.” Joshua listened to God, like Moses did. The Israelites obeyed the commands Joshua gave them. They showed that they loved God by following His rules. Since they obeyed, God took good care of them.

LIVE IT OUT: Read aloud to your child Joshua 1:9. Explain that God is with us all the time. Help your child decorate a cardboard or plastic tag to hang from your car’s mirror as a reminder that God is with you wherever you go.


Deuteronomy 34:9-12; Joshua 1:1-9

LIFE POINT: Joshua was Moses’ helper for more than 40 years. Before Moses died, he placed his hands on Joshua to show the people that Joshua was filled with God’s Spirit. After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua. “It is time for you and the people to get ready. You will cross over the Jordan River. Then you will be in the land I have given you. I promised Moses that you would have the land.” He promised that no one would be able to keep His people out. Then God gave another important promise: He would never leave Joshua! Three times God told Joshua and the people, “Be strong and brave.” He told Joshua to give the land to the people. God told Joshua to do everything Moses had told them. God wanted Joshua and the people to practice repeating those instructions so they could remember them.

LIVE IT OUT: Review the Bible verses with your child. Remind your child that God promised to always be with Joshua. Discuss ways God shows that He is always with your family. Ask your child to pray and thank God for being with your family.


Psalm 119:89-96

THE POINT: God’s Word will always reflect His character and power.
• Why is it important to know that God’s Word will never change?
• What are some practical ways to engage the Scriptures in a way we won’t forget?
• How does belonging to God change how we face opposition?
Discuss the following quote:

“Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic¹. Do not defend God’s word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity.”²—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can help your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: Help your student determine how God’s Word can apply to his or her everyday life.
• COMMUNITY: Discuss ways you and your student can reveal God’s truth and take a stand for God’s Word. Areas to examine may include our speech, social media, or relationships.
• CULTURE: Standing for the gospel is about staying faithful to what God has called us. Take time with your student to consider what it means to live out God’s Word and where to seek help.

¹ axiomatic (adj)= self-evident or unquestionable

² Dargan Thompson, “12 Essential Bonhoeffer Quotes,” Relevant [online], [accessed 1 May 2016]. Available from the Internet: ttp://

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Conversation Starters: Give with Joy

Posted by Karah

CONNECTION POINT: Giving is a sign of obedience to God.

THE BIBLE MEETS LIFE: For years, our national leaders have hotly debated how the government can help people—and how much to help. Blogs and news shows have joined the discussion, and people are often polarized into opposing camps. Within the body of Christ, though, believers are called to give and help others. Even as God provides for us, He calls us to be a conduit of His generosity and provision to others.

Concept: Give with Joy




Daniel 1:1-20

LIFE POINT: Daniel and his three friends lived in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. Daniel was strong, smart, and handsome. Daniel and his friends were learning to be special helpers to the king. The king’s helper brought Daniel rich foods and drinks. Daniel knew that God did not want him to eat those kinds of foods. Daniel asked the king’s helper, “Will you bring vegetables and water for my friends and me?” The king’s helper was afraid the boys would not be strong and healthy. Daniel said, “Please feed us vegetables and water for ten days. See if we are as strong and healthy as the other men.” After ten days, Daniel and his friends were stronger than the other young men. The king’s helper let them eat the good foods. Daniel and his friends were glad they had chosen to eat good food and obey God.

LIVE IT OUT: Emphasize to your child that Daniel chose to obey God’s laws about food. Tell your child she can obey what the Bible says; we can follow Jesus’ example in the Bible. She can be kind and loving to other people.


Daniel 1:1-20

LIFE POINT: The soldiers took young men back to the king. The men lived at the palace. They learned how to serve the king. The men were fed the same foods the king ate. Daniel knew the food was not made according to God’s laws. Daniel asked if he and his friends could eat vegetables and drink water. The officer was afraid that Daniel would become weak and make the king angry. Daniel spoke to the guard. “Please test us. Give us vegetables and water for 10 days. Then see at how we look. See how the others look. Then decide.” The guard agreed. He gave Daniel and his friends vegetables and water for 10 days. Daniel and his friends looked better than the others. They looked healthier than the others. The guard let Daniel and his friends keep eating vegetables and drinking water.

LIVE IT OUT: How does your family honor God? Today’s story told how Daniel honored God with his obedience. Read the following verses and talk about other ways to honor God: Psalm 86:2; Romans 14:6; Revelation 4:11.


Philippians 4:10-20

THE POINT: We are called to join God in giving for the good of others.
• When have you enjoyed giving something away?
• What does it mean to be content?
• Why do you think so many people misunderstand Philippians 4:13?
• When you have seen fruit come from being generous?
• How can we tell the difference between wants and needs?
Discuss the following quote:

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.”1—C. S. Lewis

LIVE IT OUT: Encourage your student to take practical steps to take his or her faith and Live It Out. Here are some ways you can encourage your students to live out their faith with Christ personally, in community, and in their culture:
• CHRIST: We have all been given different gifts and talents. Help your student to understand that his or her gifts will be different from the gifts of friends. Look up a Spiritual Gifts test online and take it together with your student.
• COMMUNITY: Look for opportunities where you and your student can use your gifts to help the community and bless others.
• CULTURE: Spend time with your student going over his or her gifts. Encourage your student to use these gifts to further God’s kingdom.

1. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001) 86.

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