As the church, we are called to gather around those in pain. But what about those whose pain isn’t as obvious—how do we help them? In today’s episode of the Think Orange Podcast, we’ll discuss how ministry leaders can gather around families walking through the loss of a pregnancy or an infant.
First we’re joined by Kristen Ivy, Lauren Terrell, and Leah Jennings, for an honest conversation about what it looks like to walk through the loss of a child. Then Kenny Conley, NextGen Pastor at Mission Community Church, shares about his own experiences as a father, husband, and pastor.
Welcome to Episode 45 of the Think Orange Podcast.
Kristen Ivy interviews Leah Jennings and Lauren Terrell (4:00)
Leah and Lauren talk about what they needed most—and didn’t need—from the people closest to them after their miscarriages (4:30)
Leah and Lauren share how their experiences have shaped the way they respond to others walking through similar circumstances (9:58)
Generational differences in how we process and talk about pregnancy loss (13:48)
Dave’s interview with Kenny Conley (18:00)
Kenny’s own story of pregnancy loss (19:39)
Nobody steps into marriage planning to lose a child (22:59)
There’s camaraderie in loss, but many people don’t get to share that (23:36)
How Kenny’s friends and church community gathered around their family as they grieved (24:26)
Once you’ve gone through a miscarriage, you see things through a different lens (26:58)
Why many choose to not talk about pregnancy loss (27:55)
It’s believed that 1 in 3 pregnancies end in loss (29:00)
Description of Made Known product (30:45)
Dave and Ashley’s final thoughts (35:37)
People, Places & Helpful Resources
Parent Cue Live Podcast—Bonus Episode: The Silent Pain of Pregnancy Loss (Full interview with Kristen, Leah, and Lauren)
Blog: Orange Leaders – a blog with strategies, tips and ideas from leaders influencing the faith and character of the next generation
Leah Jennings is a writer, editor, personal trainer and wellness coach. She is married to Kevin Jennings, producer of the Think Orange Podcast, and they live in Georgia with their two-year-old daughter.
Kenny Conley is the founding author of childrensministryonline.com and is the NextGen Pastor at Mission Community Church in Gilbert, AZ.
Lauren Terrell has been writing for Orange since 2006, contributing to books such as Lead Small and several devotionals for kids. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with a focus on reading and special needs. Having led small groups for several years, she is currently learning the ins and outs of the preschool world as she and her husband clamber through parenthood with two small children.
Quotes from This Episode
Grief is very tricky. It can affect you in ways you maybe would never connect. Click To TweetThere’s something innate in us as people who work in church that we want to fix a problem, but sometimes there’s nothing to fix. Click To TweetThe power of presence is enough. Click To Tweet
Ideas to Influence the Next Generation
When someone else is grieving, humans have a desire to make them feel better or fix the situation. But moms who suffer pregnancy loss and stillbirth don’t need fixing. What was helpful to both Lauren and Leah were the friends and family members who let them express their emotions in their own time and way.
Another important way to support someone going through pregnancy loss is to limit your expectations of them. Instead, ask them what they need, and let them know you’re available to them if, or when, they want to talk.
Finally, remember a woman who has suffered pregnancy loss is mourning the loss of her child and the future she envisioned. Everyone’s grief looks differently.
Conversation Starters For Your Church
Is how we communicate surrounding Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and other family-centered holidays sensitive to those experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or a child?
How can we create safe places for parents to talk about their grief and connect with families facing similar pain?
When he’s not working as a pastor at North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Dave is usually making his family cross their arms, roll their eyes, and tap their feet while he takes “just one more quick photo” on family outings. You’ll also often find him up to his neck in “Jewish stuff” as he researches the cultural context of Jesus for his daily Instagram devotions. Learn more about Dave at daveadamson.tv.
Ashley serves as the Director of Middle School Strategy at Orange and the USA Director of Carry 117. She has worked with students in public education, athletic and ministry settings for the last 12 years. She is most passionate about resourcing the local church, communicating on stage, developing leaders, working with students and world missions. In her downtime, you’ll find her watching Friends, cheering on the Cleveland Cavaliers, traveling, reading, or on one of her Fairytale Friday Adventures.
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Thank you for listening to the Think Orange Podcast.
We hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode. More importantly, we hope that when you think next generation, you think Orange.