This post is part of the Children's Ministry Toolkit - a collection of resources for building strong and vibrant children's ministry, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.
While dealing with loss and grief can be difficult for anyone, children’s reactions may differ from those of adults. Here are some resources to help ministry leaders and parents engage and talk with children about death, loss, and grieving.
Comforting Children in Crisis by Group Publishing: this resource provides counseling advice, tips on what to say and not to say, Scripture connections, and other resources to use when comforting children in crisis. Highly recommended for ministry leaders.
Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies by Janis Silverman: this workbook includes activities (similar to art therapy exercises) that help children cope when someone special dies.
Good Grief by Granger Westberg: a classic book on grief, highlighting ten different stages of grief including shock, emotion, depression, physical distress, panic, guilt, anger, resistance, hope, and acceptance. Recognizes the complexity of grief and how each person responds in their own unique way. Simple to read, but full of comfort and hope.
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry Sittser: highly recommended book that discusses the depths of sorrow that a person can feel from any type of loss. It explores what it means to come to the end of ourselves so that we can come to a new beginning, one that is marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of the simple blessings of life.
The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children & Families: the Dougy Center provides a safe place for children, teens, young adults, and their families who are grieving a death to share their experiences. This is done through peer support groups, education, and training. Along with training materials, the website provides education materials about children and grief.
If you're searching for a hard-to-find book or are looking for a book on a particular topic related to grief, you may want to check compassionbooks.com.
Have questions? Our Children's Ministry Catalyzer would love to talk with you about faith formation in children at your church. Email [email protected].