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LEADER RESOURCE 4 Engaging as Religious Professionals

This is a 30-minute activity.


  • Story, Forrest Church's Redemption Experiences


  • If you have not already done so, copy the story for all participants.


Forrest Church's personal stories concern two spiritually and emotionally charged topics: death and addiction. Distribute the story and invite participants to read (or review) it. When they are done, invite them to consider and discuss these questions:


  • How do you, as a religious professional, understand addiction? Does Forrest Church's description of a "God-sized hole" ring true for you? Are there other words or metaphors you might use to describe addiction from a spiritual or religious point of view?
  • Do portions of your personal or family history inform your understanding of addiction?
  • How do you as a religious professional and/or your congregation reach out to those who are dealing with addiction?

Death and Dying

  • Forrest Church writes that nothing in his ministry is more important than being with people in times of loss. Does his statement ring true for you?
  • What experiences with death and dying in your life have had the greatest impact? What wisdom did you gain from those experiences?

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