by Jodi Brook

Grow Ministries travels around Australia leading training sessions that encourage congregations to support and equip families to develop family faith practices.

On our travels, we have encountered many parents and grandparents who become very emotional during our sessions. As we discuss research around family faith situations, participants openly share their own experiences as children and parents. What we often hear is a sense of grief, guilt and lament about how they feel they may have failed to nurture faith in their own homes.

Feeling this grief, Grow Ministries wanted to offer a Bible study that provides an opportunity for parents to share their feelings with others and to experience God’s forgiveness and love. In partnership with Pastor Richard Haar, lecturer at Australian Lutheran College, we are pleased to tell you about ‘Parents in Pain’.

Sharing enables support

The Parents in Pain Bible studies have been designed to help parents cope with the heartache of having loved ones turn away from their Christian faith.

These studies are designed to be done in a group setting. This allows for mutual sharing and ensures that parents receive support and encouragement from others on a similar journey. Intended as a guide, we encourage you to allow the discussion to organically unfold as your group’s needs are uncovered.

The studies are not designed to be a therapy or counselling session. If the topics discussed raise deeper issues, please speak to your pastor or seek counselling support.

Study sessions address parents’ pain

The ‘Parents in Pain’ Bible study series is designed to be completed over four sessions.


You are not alone (COMFORT)

Begin to confront the fear and pain over the heart-wrenching experience of seeing your child/ren reject the faith.


What went wrong? (REFLECTION)

Explore some of the factors which led your child to turn away from God.

This session has the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and your child/ren.


Wrestling with the guilt (LETTING GO)

Deal with the important distinction between appropriate and inappropriate guilt and how to best respond to both of these.


Just keep loving them (HOPE)

Develop some positive strategies for coping and for encouraging your child/ren to reconnect with the Church and their faith.

We pray this resource is an opportunity to support the parents in your congregation who are struggling with this painful issue.

We pray this resource is an opportunity to support the parents in your congregation who are struggling with this painful issue.

Parents in Pain is available for purchase for $5 from Grow Ministries online store at 

Jodi Brook is Director of the LCANZ’s Grow Ministries.

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