The Role of the Church:
Did you know that 1 out of every 3 girls and 1 out of every 5 boys will experience some form of abuse by age 18? This is why we hope one day every church in every community will have a Survivor Support Ministry-- to provide hope and healing for those who have been affected by abuse, including sexual exploitation and trafficking. Churches have the incredible power to be the culture change we need by understanding abuse and trauma, then reaching our younger generation to intercede against the worldly pressures. It's our goal to train and equip churches with the training, tools and resources for effective culture change.
At the core of abuse and trauma is the breakdown of the family with many children having experienced one or more of the following traumas:
Exposure to sex or pornography as a child
Single or divorced parents (which could have significant adverse effects on children leading to the feelings of abandonment, shame, and guilt)
Addicted, absent, or emotionally detached parents
Physical abuse, Emotional abuse, Sexual abuse, Verbal Abuse, Spiritual abuse (from unhealed and untrained Christians.)
These core root issues of abuse and trauma are manifesting in every church and community.
Imagine if we understood the challenges our youth and young adults face today. Imagine if people felt safe enough in our churches to share about the pain of their past abuse and trauma. Imagine if the Church was known and trusted as a healthy place for healing. We believe we can change the trajectory of our culture by educating, training, and equipping the Faith Community. We believe by uniting as One, we can identify and help with the healing process for those who have been impacted by abuse and exploitation.
It’s time the Faith Community steps up and becomes the change we know is possible. The Church is desperately needed as a trusted and respected community partner for helping our youth and young adults heal from sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse. They are worth it!
What’s a SURVIVOR SUPPORT MINISTRY? Depending on the church's vision, structure, and mission, implementing a Survivor Support Ministry is an effective way to help people through their healing journey. If there is a healthy dedicated team leader, and a few others with the same passion, who are ready to start a survivor support ministry, here are the roles we recommend:
Prayer team: Prayer is a vital component of the survivor support ministry.
Resource team: Organizing resource drives and collecting donations.
Advocate: Assist with connecting survivors to community partner resources
Mending the Soul Facilitator: Lead or Co-lead a MTS small group
Mentor a survivor: Walking alongside a trauma survivor through their healing journey
Mentor a mentor: Prayer partner and support to a mentor working with survivors.
Discipleship: Help a mentee grow spiritually (when ready).
Admin support: Computer work and communication to the team, church, community partners
The Mentor Support Collaborative provides the training, tools, and materials for developing healthy leaders and a sustainable Survivor Support Ministry. By the end of the training, leaders will have done their own work of healing, be adequately trained on trauma and trauma informed care, the role of community partners, survivor resources, and know how to develop both a survivor and mentor support team to sustain a healthy survivor support ministry.
If you’re not quite ready for a full survivor support ministry, consider getting involved in the following ways to support your local law enforcement or organizations who serve survivors.
Consider starting a prayer group to confirm how God may want your church or organization to get involved.
Organize an information meeting or awareness event. Invite others from the church and community. The Mentor Support Collaborative can recommend speakers for a presentation on abuse, complex trauma, or sexual exploitation.
Begin Mending the Soul small groups with healthy trained facilitators.
Offer to host a resource drive to support survivors.
Contact us - we are here to help!
“We have way too many excuses to keep us from trying to heal. It’s way too easy to avoid it, but once you start, you really can’t stop!”
— Andrea, Trafficking Survivor