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EP280: Crisis, Trauma, and Digital Ministry



In digital spaces where the need is significant, the theological and pastoral landscapes of churches are expanding beyond the physical realm. EP280 of the TCD podcast, hosted by Jeff Reed, features a conversation that weaves together crisis, trauma, and digital ministry, presenting an intersection often underserved in theological discussions.

**Recognizing Trauma in Digital Ministry**

Trauma comes in many forms, and it's no stranger to the digital realm. Megan Carter and Stacy Knapp stress the importance of understanding trauma's manifestation through behavior changes, communication patterns, and emotional flatness, among other signs.

**The Heart of Empathy**

Empathy and humble listening are paramount. It's vital that ministers resist the inclination to be 'fixers' or to downplay experiences. Instead, they should seek to understand the person's story and provide a connection to the appropriate care.

**Protecting Pastors and Volunteers**

The podcast doesn't shy away from the burnout ministers face. Megan Carter introduces the concept of 'compassion fatigue,' highlighting the need for self-care strategies that go beyond clichés. Self-care isn't a solo endeavor—Megan and Stacy advocate for creating support networks that offer reciprocal understanding and aid.

**Training and Awareness**

There is a continuous call for training and resources, crafting a trauma-informed congregation, and a leadership that can navigate the digital waters with a shepherd's care. Equipping volunteers with the right tools and awareness not only strengthens the church's support structure but also enriches the spiritual health of the community.

**Digital Ministry: A Space of Hope**

Echoing throughout the conversation is the role of digital ministry as a sanctum for those who might struggle with conventional church settings. Advocating for digital spaces to be just as robust in relational and emotional support as physical congregations, the guests touch on the power of technology to bridge gaps and provide solace.

Ministry in the digital age isn't exempt from the trials of human experience. Instead, it gifts an opportunity to extend empathy across pixels and bytes—a mission both restorative and reflective of Christ's love.


  • 00:00 Introduction

  • 07:48 Mental health's role in digital ministry.

  • 10:30 Trauma is individual perception of emotional discomfort.

  • 22:38 Digital ministry allows for better mental health.

  • 24:54 Recognizing signs of emotional and mental distress.

  • 27:55 Teaching trauma-informed care: focus on empathy and perspective.

  • 32:35 Mental health coaches need self-awareness and boundaries.

  • 41:09 Training is crucial for trauma-informed care.

  • 44:02 Ignoring feelings in pursuit of spiritual growth.

  • 46:56 Avoid burnout by prioritizing self-care.

  • 54:38 Encouraging greater accessibility and care for trauma.

  • 57:06 Always be a learner.


Host: Jeff Reed
Founder, The Church Digital

Guest: Megan Carter
Next Steps Pastor, First Capital Christian/Church Anywhere

Guest: Stacy Knapp
Chaplain, Digital Crisis Coach


  • KLOVE Crisis Response Care:
  • American Association of Christian Counselors -
  • AACC's Light University -
  • How can digital ministers and volunteers be trained to recognize the signs of trauma and crisis in individuals they interact with online?
  • What are some effective strategies for providing empathetic and trauma-informed care in a digital ministry environment?
  • How can church leaders protect themselves from vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue while continually providing support to others?
  • What are the limitations of digital ministry when it comes to addressing trauma and crisis, and how can these limitations be mitigated?
  • In what ways can the church community better incorporate discussions on mental health and trauma into their teachings and support structures?
  • Can you discuss the distinction between self-care and soul care, and why is it important for individuals in caregiving ministries to understand these concepts?
  • How can digital ministers create a sense of presence and personal connection to their community members in a medium where physical cues are absent?
  • What role does building a support network play in sustaining the mental health of those involved in digital ministry, and what steps can be taken to establish such a network?


We know these conversations out there are hard. Even the best of churches haven't figured out... If this podcast is helping you and your church work through what Church Online is, then help us impact other churches! Take a moment and leave us a brief review!

By leaving a positive ranking and review of THECHURCH.DIGITAL PODCAST on iTunes, you're helping to get this podcast in front of new people who are most likely asking the same questions you are. Head over to that Ratings & Review section on iTunes and drop a good word for us!

Feedback on the podcast is vital as well. Leave comments on the podcast, or comment on this post! I'd love to know your thoughts and how we can serve your church better.

Love you all! Praying for your Churches and your Ministry Online.

Jeff Reed

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About Author

Jeff Reed
Jeff Reed

With about 20 years experience serving the church in the digital/technological realm, Jeff loves working with churches. As passionate about Discipleship as he is Technology, Jeff uses his passion to help Churches develop technology systems to bring people far from God closer to him. Oh, and he loves Digital Church & Church Online.

Related Posts
EP289 - Jeff Talks Beer, Multiplication, and the Digital Church
EP288 - Navigating Asynchronous Community: Gabe DeWalk & The Kingstide Journey
EP287 - Innovating for Impact: Jeff Reed looks at Digital Church Movements


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