How to Give a Meaningful Sermon After a Mass Shooting

Encouragement for Pastors
Leadership Development
Spiritual Encouragement

Encouragement for Pastors: How to Find Strength and Meaningful Words for a Congregation After a Tragedy like a Mass Shooting

Helping Church After Mass Shooting Sermon Outline

* Free Sermon Outline Below *

I’ll be honest; it is discouraging to need to write a post like this. But here we are faced with another mass shooting tragedy. Unimaginable injustices go on in our world every day. Hate crimes, blatant murder, terrorism, and war plague this planet. Sometimes these atrocities are across the globe and sometimes they happen in our own back yards. Whenever and wherever these tragedies occur, society picks itself up and carries on. Employees must carry on in their work and pastors must minister to their church families.

Following a disaster, it is no small responsibility to address a church community of fearful or heartbroken Christ followers. Yet, as pastors this is a calling we must often face. This is also a big opportunity and blessing. Though we would never wish these tragedies on our world, we can rise up from the ashes to find greater love and faith in our community.

If you’re reading this and find yourself at a loss after a natural disaster, mass shooting, other tragedy, or loss directly within your church family, you may not be sure what to say on Sunday. Leadership words and courage sometimes feel like too big of a load to carry in the face of a tragedy; but those feelings and vulnerability are the fuel that will ignite more powerful leadership. I want to encourage you, because I know you’ll be okay. I’ve been there too; I know the fear and struggle of addressing your church family in the wake of the unimaginable. But I’ve done it and I know you can too. My prayers are with you as you face this. I’ve also included a free sermon packet and outline below. This sermon was a response to the September 11th attack. If this post, the sermon, or the blog image are of aid, please make use of them. Keep in mind the beginning of the sermon is a reflection on the actual day of 9/11, but the majority of the content can be adapted for any tragic situation. Given the ties of this Orlando shooting with Pulse night club, below you will also find a sermon packet regarding homosexuality that may be useful.

God Bless,


In the Face of Tragedy Sermon Packet and Outline:

Click Here for PDF 

Homosexuality Sermon Packet (After Supreme Court Decision):

 Click Here for PDF

More Resources:

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Glenn C. StewartPastor & Church Coach
Glenn C. Stewart has forty years of experience leading churches, planting a church, and developing leaders. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology and leadership at the Orlando campus of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and as the chairman of the board of a Christian college and seminary. Along with his degrees in Bible and theology he has a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Glenn has a heart for serving pastors and being a spiritual mentor.


Glenn C. Stewart
Glenn C. StewartChurch & Pastor Coach

Authorship Credentials:

  • Adjunct Professor of Theology and Leadership
  • Certified as a Human Behavior Consultant
  • Authorized Wiley Everything DiSC© Partner
  • Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) Partner
  • Certified Facilitator of Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Encounter Groups
  • Certified Facilitator of CPP Personality, Career, and Organizational Development Assessments
  • International Speaker and Trainer


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Work, Ministry & Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic

Connect, Lead, Equip: Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic - In Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote about Vietnam War prisoner, Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was tortured over 20 times during his eight-year captivity in the prisoner-of-war camp and had no guarantee as to whether he would survive.

  • How to be Optimistic as a Leader

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Connect, Lead, Equip: What Does it Look Like to be Optimistic as a Leader? “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” (Philippians 3:13, ESV).

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