Safe places are designed so the people of God can share their struggles with others in the journey of life. We believe that there are real sin struggles in the lives of our people. The purpose is to create an environment where the beginning of accountability, sharing, and confession can occur.
What is the philosophy?
As it says in the gospel of John, “The word of God [read Jesus] became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The philosophy of our church recognizes that if Christ comes in the flesh we must be in the flesh with each other. Meaning that Christ initiated with us, identified with us, and invaded us with the gospel of truth. The Safe Places ministry creates a venue where the congregation of MRPC can take off our veneer and initiate with each other the truths of our lives.
We also recognize that Satan has always desired to use isolation and secrets to harm God’s children. Secrecy keeps us isolated from God and others so that we can’t receive the grace that God desires. Confession to each other opens our hearts to the gospel to begin permeating our thoughts (James 5:16). Or as the proverbs say “better is open rebuke than hidden love” and “wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
How do they work? What is the format when I get there?
- Opening Remark and Disclaimers by a pastor or staff person "This will include a brief time of going over confidentiality issues, resources, ground rules for discussion and sharing stories.
- Opening Story and/or Testimony "One member will be prepared to answer three questions: How did this enter your life, Describe your Struggle and Where are you with it currently?
- Open to the group story "The majority of the time is given for others to share their stories if they want to do so. If you would like to remain silent that is fine as well.
- Prayer "There will be a brief time to commit our desires to the Lord.
If you are interested in finding out more about these confidential Safe Places meetings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org right away. This email is received by one pastor only and is strictly confidential. Also, we want to remind you that we have eight Safe Places that are already established and open to new people joining them:
Pornography (for men)
Wives of men who struggle with pornography
Parents of Prodigals
Women who have a conflicted relationship with food
Women who have dealt with or who are dealing with miscarriage and/or infertility
Women who struggle with substances
Men who struggle with substances
Men who struggle with same sex attraction.
Long Term Suffering (those who struggle with chronic illness)
Caregivers of those with Chronic Illness
A Safe Places Testimony
“It has been proven, and most of us know firsthand, that when we are going through something, nothing replaces having someone in your life who has been there or going through what you are going through. I have participated in programs before that have helped me a great deal, mainly for that reason - it provided support from people who were "like me". But nothing is as inspiring as having other followers of Christ to talk with about your struggle!! We know the best instrument of change is being in community, and to be able to pray together and for each other and look to God's Word and encourage each other in the truth -- that is invaluable. I have been wanting a group like this for a very, very long time. It is an answer to prayer.”