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Counseling Children

Counseling Children During Crisis with CEF

Jun 17, 2024 | Teach Kids Articles

Eight-year-old Lizzy listened intently as the Good News Club® teacher taught a Bible lesson from the CEF® series on Joseph. Lizzy could identify with the hard things Joseph experienced. When the teacher asked, “What are some hard things kids your age go through?” one boy answered, “When people don’t believe you.” Another shouted out, “Divorce.” Then Lizzy looked the teacher in the eyes and said, “When your parents are having a custody battle over you.”

Lizzy is just one of thousands of brokenhearted children who attend Good News Club® all across the globe—a broken world where, unfortunately, all children will at some point in their lives experience a crisis and need help in counseling children during crisis. It might be living in a community that has experienced a natural disaster, having a parent or sibling who has a debilitating illness, losing a family member to an accident, or any number of equally difficult situations. Sadly, statistics show that a high number of the children Child Evangelism Fellowship ministers to are suffering under neglect or abuse. Statistics that beg the question: how can we effectively help in counseling children during crisis?

How to Counsel Children During Crisis

A child in crisis has many needs that are as nuanced as their situation might be. However, the one need that will always be greater than them all, is their need to know Jesus and to feel His love for them. Here are 4 ways you can help with counseling children during crisis after they’ve been taken out of a potentially dangerous situation or all appropriate authorities have been notified.

1. Share the Gospel

First, we need to be sharing the Gospel with them and inviting them to believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior. He is the One who can give them the strength to endure hard times. Those who believe in Jesus can trust God’s promises, like the one in Hebrews 13:5 that says God will never leave them or forsake them. Hosting or supporting a CEF Good News Club® is a great way to reach the needy children in your community with the Gospel and start counseling children during crisis on a weekly basis through after-school programs.

There are kids like Kayla, a 5th grader, who deals with bullying and depression. When she started coming to Good News Club®, she’d often sit in the back and act like she was too cool to be at the club. As her teachers took time to get to know her, they learned about Kayla’s struggles. They prayed with her and encouraged her to trust God, and soon, Kayla began to feel loved and accepted. Now, she interacts and asks questions, and while she still sometimes sits in the back, most weeks she’s excited to find new verses about God. Recently, she told her teacher that she wishes they could have club every day because it helps her feel loved and to know God is with her.

2. Disciple Them Towards Comfort and Growth

But sharing the Gospel is not all we can do. We can also help with counseling children during crisis by discipling these new believers to help them grow in their relationship with God—teaching them more about the one who loves them dearly, and is their refuge and strength in trouble. Even when they feel like no one cares that they’re sad or afraid, God does. He never sleeps and is always watching over them. When things happen that don’t seem fair or right, they can trust God will take care of them and help them through it.

After all, even children who are no longer in an active crisis still need healing from the trauma. They need caring individuals like you counseling children during crisis to learn how to express their cares and feelings in prayer, and feel comfort and guidance from their loving Heavenly Father in return. Kids can always turn to God knowing He loves them, He knows what’s best for them, and He has the power to care for them.

3. Attend a CMI Training

Want to feel even more prepared when counseling children during crisis? Children’s Ministries Institute® offers a course called “Understanding Today’s Child” that teaches how to help with counseling children during crises. Students learn how to identify children who might be abused or neglected, how to get help for them, how to minister to children of divorce and those from dysfunctional homes, and how to guide children to the One who is their ultimate source of hope. Many practical guides are given so students can know how to encourage the children God brings into their lives. This course can be taken online for eight weeks or as a week-long course at CEF International Headquarters in Warrenton, Missouri. Learn more at cefcmi.com or by clicking this link.

4. Pray for Kids in Crisis and Those Helping

Last but not least, no matter where you are, you can help in counseling children during crisis by praying for those hurting children and for those dedicated in ministry for them. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools for God’s Kingdom in a believer’s arsenal, but this is especially true if you know a child in crisis yourself.

Lizzy’s Good News Club® teacher had the opportunity to counsel her, pray with her, and share Scripture that would comfort her during her crisis. The teacher and Lizzy have built a special friendship that has allowed Lizzy to confide in the teacher when she needs to talk about what is going on. Will you pray for God to bring the hurting children to a Good News Club® so that they might hear of His love, believe in Him, and know His hope and help throughout their lives? Will you pray that the teachers will be able to minister to the hurting children effectively and bring godly advice when counseling children during crisis?

The needs of a hurting child are many and might feel overwhelming or impossible to solve from the outside. But with a little love, care, and intention, we can help with counseling children during crisis by pointing them towards the One who meet all their needs and more: Jesus Christ.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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