Class On Helping Others Navigate Grief

This spring Dwell is offering the 4-week class, “Helping Others Navigate Grief and Loss,” starting May 25th. John Montgomery teaches it, and shares more about it:

What will be covered in the class?

When we have a friend who is hurting from a loss, we want to do something to help. Yet, too often, we shy away or remain silent out of fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, which, in many cases, exacerbates our friend’s grief because they feel isolated in their grief or become angry that “nobody cares.” 

This class will go in depth into multiple aspects of how to minister to those who are grieving a loss, such as how to ask appropriate questions, how to develop better listening skills, how to talk to non-Christians about grief, how to disciple someone in grief, and how to help children and teenagers. The class is not for people needing support themselves, but is designed to help you learn how to support a grieving person.

Why is it important to take the class even if you don’t know someone who’s currently in grief?

Grief and loss are part of the fallen world we live in. Grief can result from death, divorce, past trauma, unemployment, loss of friendship, changing home groups, etc. So most people know someone in grief. Scripture tells us to “encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, [and] be patient with everyone,” (1 Thess 5:14), and to “carry each other's burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Understanding how people react to a loss and the roles friends play in recovery is critical to serving others.

The apostle Paul had many things to grieve during his lifetime. Yet, he tells us that we should not grieve as people who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). He doesn’t say that we are not to grieve but we are to grieve differently. James 1:2 says that we should consider it joy when we encounter trials and tribulations.

Understanding how to grieve with hope and joy is a major part of helping someone else grieve. In order to help another person through grief, it is important to have a clear understanding of what grief is.

What's the format of the class?

The class format is a combination of lecture, short video clips, and discussion. Each week, there will be an interview with someone about their grief experience. Those interviewed have experienced grief from multiple causes. Additionally, each class member will receive a copy of Nancy Guthrie’s book “What Grieving People Wish You Knew” (a $12.95 value) along with a notebook of over 40 grief-related articles. Email grief@dwellcc.org for more details.