Christian Community

Caring For People You Don’t Really Care For

What NASA Taught Me About Caring For Others

Almost 30 years ago I had the privilege of looking behind the scenes at the NASA space shuttle program.  I learned a lesson that day in the importance of caring for others even when they are people we don’t really like.

Everywhere we went in the facility we could see the care that was given to the safety and success of the flight crew. We were shown the astronaut equipment lockers that held personal space suit components custom-fitted to the exact measurements of each crew member.  There were rows of gleaming white suits adorned with American flags, mission insignias and patches to indicate whose specific suit was whose.  The suits were actually made up of separate components for each body part. Each locker held two of each; torso, arms, legs, boots, and helmets.  It was an impressive site to see all of the redundancy and care that went into making sure the team was well equipped and safe.

Our tour continued as we walked into a second locker area and saw several additional suits. These suits were noticeably smaller, gray in color, older looking and obviously well worn.  When we asked our guide what these suits were, we were told that these were the suits of the Soviet cosmonauts who would be part of the upcoming mission.  Back before the breakup of the Soviet Union, American and Soviet leaders decided (for a variety of reasons) that cooperative activities in space would serve their interests.  At the time most Americans saw the Soviets as the enemy and as untrustworthy.  Most astronauts had a military background and so, were even more inclined to hate the Soviets than the general public.  It was a big deal to ask these traditional enemies to cooperate in such an intricate and dangerous enterprise as a space mission.

Our tour guide gave us a memorable lesson in the importance of caring about others even when they are people we’ve been taught to hate. On the upcoming space mission, the astronauts would need to rely on and trust the Soviet mission members.  Both teams had to be prepared to help their former enemy in whatever way necessary. The mission preparation included hundreds of hours of training in how to use and care for the space suits and tools of the other country. In order to accomplish their assigned missions, and more importantly to survive the dangerous conditions of rocket flight and space activities, Soviet and American team members would need to know, trust, and rely on each other to accomplish their common goals.

How Does This Apply To Christian Life

For most believers, we like to think that we don’t really have any enemies.  If there are people we don’t approve of, or get along with, we simply make sure they aren’t part of our life.  But what if, like the astronauts our goals depended on knowing, trusting, and relying on our enemies, or even on those who we simply choose to separate ourselves from?

Putting The Mission First?

Mission number one for every Christian is to bring others to Christ and expand the kingdom for God. Seeing others as part of this mission helps us look past the things that divide us, cause us to judge others harshly, or plant the seeds of hate.  You might say that many of the people you don’t care for are unbelievers.  That may be true, but by separating yourself from them you are taking yourself out of the mission to reach them for Christ.  Ask yourself, What if I could bring that person one step closer to God?  Would that make you care more for them?

Who are the Soviet Cosmonauts in Your Life?

If you’re anything like me, there are people you’ve been taught to hate, who are less deserving, or who you should separate yourself from. It’s important that believers look around and identify the people we place in these categories.  Once we understand who it is we are not loving we can take steps that help us grow in the way we care for them.

5 Ways To Care For People You Don’t Care For

  1. Show simple kindness.  Find out what they need. If there is someone who you don’t really care for, the odds are pretty good that they don’t really care for you either.  You can go a long way in creating healing between you by simply asking the other if there is some way you can help them.
  2. Take time to know them – Respect that they have a different story than you – Understand that their attitudes, and actions are a result of their experience. Ask yourself, how would I be different if I had the past experience that they had. If you don’t know about their background or experiences, start by learning as much about them as possible.
  3. Lean into your common interests, history, or goals. Take the time to show genuine interest in the other person and explore their story.  It’s likely that there is some aspect of their life or history that connects you.  Be willing to share something about your past that may interest them.  If the other person has a negative perception of you, sharing some of your humanity (a flaw or stumble you’ve had) will help them see you in a different light. This may take a bit of vulnerability and time but these investments will almost always pay off in a healthier relationship. 
  4. Trust God and act in love. Sometimes it’s hard to overcome our humanity and show love for others.  Remind yourself that even though you have a hard time loving a particular person, God loves them beyond our ability to understand. In these times it would helpful to take ourselves out of the equation and simply ask God to soften your heart and guide your action to be a conduit for the love that He wants to show the person you don’t really care for.
  5. Pray – Prayer could be an element of each of the previous four suggestions.  When you have failed to see the value in others or a path forward to fellowship, ask God to provide that missing direction.

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3 Ways To Respond For Loss

Kim's Story

When someone dies, the survivor can feel dead inside. A death can take away someone else’s identity and stop their lives right in their tracks.

For the Christian, this can bring questioning such as, “Where is God?” “Why does he seem so distant?”

A powerful and though-provoking podcast from LifeSupport features a woman who endured extreme pain and loss but was still able to thank and love God even more than before.

Kim knew her mother loved her since she was born, but she also knew that her mother dealt with deep depression. When Kim was 17 years-old, her mother took her own life.

Although it was very difficult for Kim to process her mother’s death to suicide, life kept going and she went to college, where she met her future husband. The two got married and had children.

Kim and her husband, Jim, hit a bump in the road when Jim was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was only given a five percent chance to live, but he received a liver transplant and he would recover. Six months later when things to seemed to be getting better in Kim’s life, the unthinkable happened.

Kim and Jim’s son, Eric took his own life just 45 minutes after a break-up with his girlfriend.

Her world was shattered. She didn’t know how to process it all. Feelings of guilt and shame came flooding into Kim’s mind. For Kim, it felt like she couldn’t breathe for the next two years.

With the help of counseling for her depression, and with the support of people in her church, Kim was able to believe that her son was in Heaven and with God. She knew that she would see him again someday.

Kim was dealt with another blow years later when her husband, Jim, passed away from liver cancer.

Simple Ways To Walk Alongside

In the LifeSupport podcast, Kim gave some important reminders for someone walking along someone who just experienced a loss:

  1. Be Present and Listen: In today’s culture, it seems like we are always trying to fix and resolve issues and quickly as possible. When it comes to a survivor of a loved one’s death, there is no quick fix. The best thing to do is to be present and emotionally available to that person. If they say anything to you, just listen, and don’t worry what to say. Sometimes, a person grieving just wants to get out whatever they have to say at the time.
  2. Remember the Person – In the LifeSupport podcast, Kim said one of her biggest fears was for people to forget about her son’s life. People fear that their loved ones will be forgotten. It is good for those in support to talk about the life of the person and that can comfort the survivor, knowing that their loved one is still on the minds of others.
  3. Look for God’s Plan – As difficult it is to watch someone grieve the loss of a loved one, it is always important to remember that God has a plan for everyone involved. Try to see what your part is in that plan.

Joy In Suffering

Kim’s story is difficult, but through it all she has peace knowing that her God is in control of everything that happens in this world. For her, there is an unexplainable joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. She knows that God has a perfect plan for her life.


We provide the resources of free of charge to help start discussions about mental health and to help remove stigma so people can find hope and healing through God. We pray that LifeSupport helps you grow your church.
If there are other reasons you don’t share your struggles, we’d love to hear them and will treat your communication as confidential. Please email any comments to [email protected]

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Helping Satan Fail

Helping Satan Fail In A Season Of Addiction

This time of year many of us celebrate the birth and life of Christ, seeing his time on earth as a gift to us from a loving father.  There are others in our world who experience this season as one of dark loneliness.  Those who are stuck in the clutches of addiction can’t imagine being in the embrace of God. Believers can see Christ’s life and death as our way forward in a lost world.  As believers, we have a wonderful opportunity to hold out the hope of that redemption to the addicted who believe that they are beyond hope.  Every one of us knows someone who is struggling with addiction, or who has a family member who is addicted. This is a season when believers can put God’s plan into motion for those who need a spark of hope to move forward.

Jim Moore was our guest on a recent LifeSupport podcast and told the amazing story of how his life was redeemed after falling into a deep well of darkness, full of addiction and depression.

Jim Moore

Jim felt like a big shot. He had a great career in management and was a national spokesman. He was taking care of his family and things seemed to be going very well. But out of nowhere, a dark depression came over him and his job and people in his life started to slip away.

Jim’s teenage son fell into the world of drugs and went missing. Jim thought his son was dead and he became full of guilt and to cope, Jim started to self-medicate. He lost his motivation and engagement with people at work became more distant. Eventually, he lost his job. His wife didn’t know what to do as their finances got tighter and tighter.

To make matters even worse during this time, Jim was diagnosed with cancer. He was given only a 40 percent chance to live and the self-medicating with drugs and alcohol became a full-fledged addiction.

At 55 years-old, Jim felt like he had nothing to live for. He wanted to die. He entered Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge with the intention of being there for only 60 days. However, God had other plans and Jim ended up staying there much longer. During his time in Teen Challenge, Jim really met Christ for the first time.  His experience with redemption would lead Jim into the best years of his life.

When Jim graduated from Teen Challenge, he decided to stay as an intern. He would end up working there for the next 10 years.

All LifeSupport Resources

Are FREE For Ministry Use

Effective ways to help those with addictions

Jim is a testimony of how real love from Christ-like people can help someone change their lives dramatically. During the LifeSupport podcast, Jim shared some insightful ideas of how a church or believers can support someone in addiction:

  1. Stop the stigma – It is easy to label people in our culture nowadays. For churches to reach people struggling with addictions, they need to get rid of the judgement and stigma. Those who are struggling need to be viewed as the son and daughters of God. Stigma creates fear and leads to isolation for those who are in need of a community of help and support.
  2. Get a deeper understanding – Relationships need to be established with anyone that needs help from addiction. Once the person struggling realizes that someone wants to know them in spite of their addiction, then trust and a real relationship can form. Jim says that an addiction is like sinking in quicksand, the only thing that can get you out is a rope. Jesus is the rope that believer can throw.
  3. Don’t expect perfection but hold them accountable – When someone has a chronic addiction, the church should not expect them to never relapse.  Everyone needs one more chance, no matter how many they have had before. However, if someone is truly trying to change, it is important to hold them accountable.
  4. The church should be redemptive and restoring – Instead of keeping an arm’s distance from people who have addictions, criminal history, or mental health issues, the church should welcome these people with open arms.

Let’s make some more of ‘Satan’s Failures’

Jim refers to himself and others from Teen Challenge as ‘Satan’s Failures.’ His story is a story of redemption and transformation. After retiring from Teen Challenge, Jim spends his time volunteering in prison ministry to help others find the hope that was held out to him.

No matter how lost one might seem, no one is beyond the reach of God.


We created to help you start discussions about mental health, to help remove stigma so people can find hope and healing through God. We pray that LifeSupport helps you grow your church.

If there are other reasons you don’t share your struggles, we’d love to hear them and will treat your communication as confidential. Please email any comments to [email protected]

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Love the mess

Loving People With Mental Illness

It's Not Complicated

Loving people with mental illness is different than curing them.  Sometimes we complicate things.  A common trap that many church leaders fall into when seeking to help people is attempting to diagnose mental illnesses.

Diagnosing a mental illness should be left to mental health professionals. The church should simply be in the business of loving someone the way Jesus would love them.  That means creating environments of transparency, where we reduce stigma and where it’s okay to be hurting.

What Do We Label Sin?

In a recent LifeSupport interview, Pastor Paul Marzahn of Crossroads Church in Lakeville, MN addressed this and the ways the church can create a culture that reflects God’s love in a place where people can safely seek help for the problems of life.

Marzahn said it is common for pastors and ministry leaders to put too much emphasis on the sin in a person’s life when mental illness is concerned.

“Often times we say, ‘This, this and this are wrong and if you do these things, you are a terrible person and you are far from God,’” Marzahn said. “If I share it in that manner, then people are going to be very reluctant to come forward and say those are their issues.”

Segregating "problems" Can Reinforce Stigma

Too many times, churches will not openly talk about mental health and when a person brings their struggles to the church, they are referred to a counselor or a group of some kind. However, these people need to understand that they are not different from others in the church and are loved the same.

“If we remind people that we are all sinners and need God’s grace, that we all have problems that pull us from God, then they will see that we are open for them to come forward and help them,” Marzahn said. “But if they feel judged, or a sense of not being welcomed, then there will never be the opportunity to help them.”

A mental illness is just like any other illness that needs a diagnosis from a professional, sometimes needs medication and needs the church community to love them, support them and pray for them.

Need Help Loving People With Mental Illness?

The Library of LifeSupport videos and group curriculum are built to help reduce the stigma of mental illness.  The LifeSupport Podcast shares stories of real people that can help your church support others.  If you or your church needs help connecting with a mental health professional, contact us at [email protected].

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Standing On Shore

Caring For A Killer

I Think It’s Complicated

A lesson I learned from caring for a killer. 

I write almost every day about mental health and ministry.  It often seems intimidating and complicated to think of ways to support the huge variety of mental health needs that people have.  If you’re in care ministry you sometimes get questions that stop you in your tracks.  Your training tells you to look supportive, to nod your head, to just sit there and take it. But, inside you’re thinking, “I have absolutely no idea what to do for you”.  It’s easy to forget how simple it can be to support even the most complicated issues.

Here’s An Example

This feeling of inadequacy happened to me one day when a young man who was part of my care group opened up with, “I killed my brother two years ago. I hate myself and I don’t know what to do about it.”  I don’t remember my response exactly but I know there was an uncomfortable pause as I considered what I could possibly say to help this guy (and the rest of the group) process and respond to this announcement.  I didn’t even think to share any of the great bible stories that applied to his situation.  I talked about making sure he was safe and helping him find a support professional. I know I thanked him for sharing something so important and sensitive but I’m sure he was expecting more from me.   Fortunately, a couple of group members were very supportive and shared experiences where they had finally opened up about something from their own past.

The Simple Truth I Learned From Caring For a Killer

A few weeks after this incident, this young man approached me after group to tell me that he’d been able to connect with a counselor and that he was working though his family issues (as he called them).  I asked him if it was helping.  He said that the thing that had helped him the most was just being able to share with our group what was on his heart.  He said, “Having someone who would just listen to me made me feel better than I have in two years.”  I thought I needed to have answers for this guy’s problems, that I should be able to give him something that would help him overcome his struggle.  I forgot the simple truth that – people just want to be heard with a loving ear.  The single biggest thing we did to help him was to simply be in relationship with him so he had people he knew he could trust with his pain.

Ministering to mental health is sometimes complicated, but it’s always as easy as listening.

I Could Have Used LifeSupport Resources

Back when our group was meeting there were no resources around like our LifeSupport mental health discussion videos.  There are several in our collection that I could have used to equip our group to help support our young friend.  Hearing the story of shared experience from a impartial, non-threatening source is a great way to help people open up and talk about painful things.  You can explore the video library here.

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Person Hiding Mess

Why Is It So Difficult by LifeSupport

There are some things that are really hard to talk about. When it comes to mental health struggles, many of us feel we have to hide our problems because others won’t understand, or that they’ll treat us differently.  All around us there are people hiding their pain.  This is just as true in our churches as it is in the rest of the world.

Here’s what happens when people don’t hide their messes:

We create mental health discussion videos and mental health group resources from content gathered during interviews of Christians who have found a path through their own struggles. On interview days we sit with one or two people at a time and just get to know them. We start with a prayer, and then we ask a few questions. Mostly, we just listen to their stories of pain. These are days filled with emotion and connection. We hear people (who we’re usually meeting for the first time) share openly about the most difficult and messy parts of their lives; about depression, suicide, grief, infidelity, abuse, and more. Sometimes they cry. Sometimes we cry.

And when it’s done, we all feel good. Without fail, these generous people tell us that they get great value from our interviews. They feel good that the story of their struggle might help someone else find a path through to healing. One of the reasons for our work, is that we want everyone to know that feeling of connection and support you get after someone has listened to you share some really hard things. 

The results:

We know from first-hand experience that strong, biblical relationships form, and healing happens when people take the time to simply be present and listen to someone else share what’s on their heart. We believe that this process of shared struggle and shared healing is part of God’s plan for the messiness of our world. We are grateful to be part of that plan.

We also explore mental health ministry and transformation stories on the weekly LifeSupport Podcast.  Join us on the LifeSupport channel or on the Faith Radio Network.

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A Remodel That Helps Reach The Hurting by Jenita Pace


A Church Plan to Reach The Hurting

There is no doubt that anyone who has experienced a remodel understands the depth of work, determination, and variety of skills it takes to accomplish.

As we see the growing levels of trauma and pain in the people around us in and in our church, it can be difficult to determine how best to meet the needs?  In order to meet the evolving needs of your people, here is a guide on how to begin to evaluate and process how to create a psychologically remodeled space that will draw the hurt and lost to Jesus, the ultimate counselor and healer.

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