Follow our founder on Twitter or Facebook! - Help us spread the word by clicking or TwitThis on any page to tell your friends!

RM Homepage
Shop and Books
Socialize with Others
Contact us

New Window

Click below for web pages
Steps to Start
a Group

Wondering where to begin if you're starting to feel the calling to start a HopeKeepers Group? You've come to the right place.

To the right you will find a 1-hour podcast by Rest Ministris founder, Lisa Copen, that is worth listening to. And below you will find steps to go through to starting finding answers to your questions.

Just follow these steps and download the information packet to share with your church or community of friends.

Download the Information Packet
Download the Information Packet (FREE)
Please provide your name and email.
Order the Information Packet- for $5: It includes the 13-page information packet, Rest Ministries brochures, articles, our tract, brochures, the promotional Rest Ministries DVD, and other items that are helpful in sharing with your pastor. COMING SOON
Steps to Starting a Group
Step 1

Step 2

Think about it - Pray about it.

Pain is never fun, but pain with purpose is so much easier to live with. We encourage you to consider starting a group in your church or community and becoming a "wounded-healer." We encourage you to pray about it and talk it over with your family

Order our quarterly HopeKeepers Magazine, as it will get you thinking about how God could use your pain to do His work. It also includes profiles of HopeKeepers groups in each issue!

Consider reading the posts on our archived HopeKeepers leaders message board. Other leaders share the ups and downs, and their passion about HopeKeepers and what God is doing! And be sure to sign up for the HopeKeepers Leaders group in the Sunroom. You don't have to be a leader already to join and participate. You can just ask questions or "listen in."
Step 3
Step 4

Download our free HopeKeepers Info Packet ; it is a zipped .pdf file. If you have any troubles, let us know and we will drop a hard copy in the mail to you.

Print off a copy of Lisa's article, A Checklist of 36 Steps to Starting a Support Group - invalueable!

READ 2 example proposals people have written for their church about the HopeKeepers program. Ex One | Ex Two

Browse our new page of resources for HopeKeeper leaders to learn more about leading a small group, exchange ideas and information, ways to publicize the group, get support, archives of hk Bulletins for leaders and more.

Decide if you want this group to be a part of the church that you are attending. A group doesn't have to be a part of a church. You can read more about this here.

Start taking notes to be able to write up a draft proposal to present to your church. See an example here. (Send us yours too to post!)
Step 5

Order the materials. Read about our complete HopeKeepers Start-Up Kit for churches. This kit will provide you with Bible studies, a training manual on the specifics of chronic illness ministry, drama skits for your church, 10 newsletter subscriptions, and much more, including books, a tape, a CD Rom of 1000 resources.

If you are approaching your church about this option, be sure to let them know how valuable such a ministry will be in the church and use your personal experiences as examples.  If your church chooses not to order the HopeKeepers Start Up Kit, you can order materials individually. We recommend the following materials:
These materials and the HopeKeepers' Info Packet will lead you through the "Am I really prepared to do this?" questions, the practical things to keep in mind when organizing such a group, and the theological issues that you may encounter and how to address them. (People are often hesitant to lead such a group, feeling, "What would I say if someone say, 'Why is God doing this to me? Why aren't some people healed?' etc.")

Lisa Copen, our founder, wrote a few of the above books because she was unable to find any resources that directly addressed chronic illness ministry within the church. We highly recommend them. You will feel prepared to lead such a group after reading these materials.

Most churches will be happy to pay the small amount necessary for these materials. Although we are non-profit, we have not received enough funding to distribute these resources free of charge. Thanks for understanding.

Step 6
Contact Rest Ministries to register as a HopeKeepers group. We like to keep in touch with you so that we can better understand the needs of the chronically ill, and what other programs and resources you desire. We will follow up in time to see if you have noticed changes in your church since you began the ministry and outreach. [Registration form - .pdf file]

You can network with other churches and find out what is working best for them. As our ministry grows, you'll be glad to be a part of the HopeKeepers ministry, a large network of churches, dedicated to addressing the personal needs of those dealing with illness, 33% of your congregation.
Small Group Ministry Resources of Interest


Need more small group resources? We recommend...



Free DHTML scripts provided by
Dynamic Drive

Click any graphic above to read more