Community. It feels like hope. It’s why small groups matter.

So many in the chronic illness community feel a deep sense of isolation and loneliness. Small groups celebrate together, suffer together, pray together, and learn to lean on and trust in God together.

Featured Books

Grace, Truth & Time: Facilitating Thriving Small Groups

Heather MacLaren Johnson

“Grace, Truth & Time is a well-thought-out, prayed-over resource that could help transform your life!” Mark Mallwitz, Servant to Leaders, BASICS “Is it daunting to start a new ministry? Absolutely. Is is difficult to reach out to the chronically ill? No, thanks to Grace, Truth & Time. Through this incredible resource, Dr. Heather Johnson leads anyone with a willing heart into wise, scriptural and empowering ministry to the suffering.” Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers Grace, Truth & Time is a valuable resource for leaders. Learn to lead through God’s grace; create a space for spiritual growth and healing; empathize, listen and engage with those in pain; grow in prayer and compassion; foster hope and encouragement; build small group communities that thrive.

Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering

Kenneth C. Haugk, PhD

Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart is an essential guide on how to care for and relate to people as they encounter difficult times in life. Forged from author Kenneth C. Haugk’s own experiences of suffering, the book draws on extensive research with more than 4,200 people who have experienced various kinds of suffering in their lives, offering key insights and suggestions of what to say and do—and what not to say or do—when people are hurting.

With its biblical foundation, compassionate approach, and concrete ideas, Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart will help you bring God’s loving presence to hurting people when they need it most.

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

Henri J. M. Nouwen

In Nouwen’s own words: “Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” Jesus sends us out to be shepherds, and Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led to places where we would rather not go. He asks us to move from concern for a life of relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity to communal and mutual ministry, and from leadership built on power to a leadership in which we critically discern where God is leading us and our people.

Serve Strong: Biblical Encouragement to Sustain God's Servants

Terry Powell

Serve the Lord long enough and discouragement or some form of opposition is inevitable. Joy-sapping workloads, feelings of inadequacy, lack of fruitfulness, or battle fatigue from spiritual warfare often spurs God’s servants to quit or sabotages their passion. The purpose of this book is to infuse them with biblical perspectives that buoy flagging spirits, boost motivation, and cultivate endurance.

Blog Posts


It is said, “That a picture is worth a thousand words.” Chronic Joy Ministry is pleased to provide images to accompany each of our studies. These may be used to foster conversation with your small group throughout your study, encourage someone who may be having a difficult time, or inspire those in your social media community. There really are so many ways that a beautiful image paired with thoughtful words can make a difference to others. You are welcome to use the images to bless other


Additional images to encourage and inspire hope, purpose, worth and joy can be found at Chronic Joy’s flickr site. These beautiful, high-resolution images are licensed non-commercial creative commons. Perfect to share with your group, on social media or to brighten someone’s day.


More Leader Resources


Looking for creative ways to connect with others to unpack the Chronic Joy studies? This FREE printable offers many, many ways that open the door to community.  Click here for the great resource.


This downloadable PDF provides helpful tips for organizing your small group and defines groups roles: SMALL GROUPS


This practical guide walks you through the first steps toward building a chronic illness small group in your church or organization. BUILD AN ILLNESS MINISTRY


This useful tool provides a framework for grace and peace in a chronic illness small group: SMALL GROUP POLICY

Even More


TED Talk – We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Watch HERE.


TED TALK – Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question: “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright brothers … Watch HERE.

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