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Learning to do life and ministry during times of stay at home orders and social distancing has meant adjustments for all of us. Not to mention the extra stress of disease and the economy changes.

Below is a list of resources to empower you as you minister to the students under your leadership during this unique time. Social distance doesn’t have to mean social isolation. We are built to connect with God and others. Keep reaching out to your students and make sure you are caring for yourself as well. And remember, your Hope Student Ministry staff is here for you – reach out to us if you need ANYTHING!

If there is a resource that would help you that is not here, please email to request it – we want to empower you were you need it! Or if you know something that would be good to put up here, let us know!

Spiritual/Emotional Needs

How can I best lead my small group online?

  • NEW: Leading discussions online is different, here are some Online Small Group Tips to help conversations flow more naturally. This also includes some free icebreaker and game options.
  • Click here for How to use Right Now Media (or any screen share you desire) in Zoom
  • How to Play Jackbox TV Games on Zoom(you will need a paid account, see more free game ideas by clicking “Online Small Group Tips” above)
  • Keep any GroupMe or group texts you have going through this time, let students know even during social distancing you care and are there for them. If students aren’t responding to group messages, individually message them.

What if a student asks me why God allows horrible things to happen in our world?

  • First, thank them for this question! It’s honest and vulnerable and a big deal they are trusting you to talk about something this hard
  • Second, show empathy for whatever situation they are going through. “I’m so sorry, I can’t imagine what you are feeling or what it’s like to go through this right now.”
  • Third, speak truth and hope in love. Here is a short 5 min video from Jay on this topic. Maybe you could watch it  in advance and bring up some of the points he talks about in your conversation or even suggest you watch it together and talk about it.

What are some Bible verses and reflections that help us through times of worry and trouble?

What if I know someone who is mourning the losing loved one?

  • First, know the most important thing you can offer is your presence. Being there to listen to someone, even virtually, is a huge ministry in itself. Listen and send “I’m thinking about you” texts.
  • Second, speak in empathy. There isn’t alot you can say to make this better, but there is alot you can say to make it worse. Don’t feel like you have to have an answer or something positive to say. Words like, “I’m so sorry, I can’t imagine what you are feeling or going through” are powerful and enough.
  • Third, offer practical help and care to surround them with love in tangible ways. Send flowers, set up meal trains, send a note in the mail, help with arrangements, take a responsibility off their plate, etc. Offer your care in action and not just words.
  • 10 Best and Worst Things to Say To Someone Grieving
  • Stages of Grief: Dealing with Anger at God

How can students stay connected with MSM and HSM while Hope’s Weekend Services are online?

  • MSM Online Live Experience – Sundays at 6:45pm
    • YouTube Live on the HopeMSM Account
    • Zoom Small Groups following YouTube Live for all campuses, contact us at to find out more and get connected.
  • MSM Online Throughout the Week:
  • HSM Small Groups are starting back the week of Aug 23, contact us at to find out more and get connected.
  • HSM Online Throughout the Week:

Please remember, self-care and soul care are important for both you and your students:

Physical /COVID-19 Specific Needs

What are reliable sources of up to date information on COVID-19?

What if one of my students or their family members may have COVID-19?

What if my students are complaining of being bored or fighting with their family while staying at home?

What if I know someone who needs groceries?

What if I know someone who has lost their job?

What if I or one of my students know someone elderly who needs assistance?

What if there is a need I know of not on this list?

  • Reach out to your MSM or HSM campus pastor, or email us at – we want to help!
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