Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who Cares?!

As the Care Ministry Coordinator at my church, I am currently evaluating with the pastor at how we provide care and support to members and visitors - including but not limited to: times of illness or surgery, death of a family member, job loss, childbirth, caring for aging parents, etc.

I am interested in knowing how your church handles this. Please answer in the comments, with or without your name, or you may email me.


1. Size of church - what is your approximate weekly attendance? (Sharing your denomination is helpful for trends, but optional)

2. Under what umbrella is care organized and provided? (e.g., through Sunday School/Bible Study classes, general announcements, organized team of care givers, deacons)

3. Do you use a specific system such as Stephens Ministry or something else?  If so what is it and how effective is it?

4. What is the pastor and other ministerial staff involvement in care/crises?  Does he/they make hospital visits/rotate being "on call", etc.?

5. Is there a person at your church whose primary role is ministering to folks needing care, those in the hospital, etc.?  Is that person a paid staff member or a lay person?

6. Do you provide classes and/or support groups on care issues?  (caring for aging parents, grief, cancer support or other types of support groups.

Hopefully, none of our churches look like this!









Thank you SO much!


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16 comments:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

We're about 40-50 people and I'm now thinking we need someone in charge of a care ministry, what a great idea!

Our Pastor and deacons are involved and we have a "hospitality" person that sends flowers and cards. It seems though people either get totally bombarded or fall through the cracks that way. A care ministry sounds fantastic.

Barbara H. said...

1) 250 -- I think -- the last time I looked at the numbers. Independent Baptist.

2) It has gone back and forth between deacons' groups and Sunday School classes. I think providing meals falls under the Sunday School classes. That used to be handled by one person (not providing all the meals, but coordinating them), but it got to be too big a job.

3) I've not heard of a Stephen's ministry -- I don't know exactly how that works. We kind of have multiple layers between the deacons (the church members are divided up among the deacons, and each deacon tries to keep tabs on his list of people, letting the pastor know if someone is in the hospital, etc.). Sunday School is probably where the news of who need what most gets out during the prayer request time. We also have a church secretary who is often the first to hear of a need, and she lets the pastor and deacon know.

4. I don't know if there is a specific system. I think the pastor and that person's deacon both try to see him or her or at least talk to them.

5. No. I think it would be too big for one person. Plus I wouldn't want all the other church people to think that kind of ministry was "taken care of" because there was a person in charge of doing it and therefore no one else needed to pitch in.

6. No

Cathy Davis said...

1. Size of church - what is your approximate weekly attendance? (Sharing your denomination is helpful for trends, but optional)

I think our membership size is right around 1,000, but we typically have around 500 - 600 show up weekly. We're United Methodist.

2. Under what umbrella is care organized and provided? (e.g., through Sunday School/Bible Study classes, general announcements, organized team of care givers, deacons)

For each small group and Sunday school class, we're supposed to have a care coordinator, who will work with the Pastoral Care person at the church. It is thought that the small group/SS will coordinate the care among the group, especially if it's short term.

If we have a long term situation, others will be asked to help.

The PC person checks in with the individual care coordinator.

The Pastoral Care Ministry is divided into things like "note writing", "freezer meals", hospital visits, nursing home visits, grief visits (ok, I don't know what that's called right now).


3. Do you use a specific system such as Stephens Ministry or something else? If so what is it and how effective is it?

Since I don't know what this is, I'm going to say no.

4. What is the pastor and other ministerial staff involvement in care/crises? Does he/they make hospital visits/rotate being "on call", etc.?

I believe you have to be really sick for our pastor to come visit you in the hospital or at home.

See #2 for remaining answers.

5. Is there a person at your church whose primary role is ministering to folks needing care, those in the hospital, etc.? Is that person a paid staff member or a lay person?

(See #2) - The Pastoral Care person is a paid staff member.

6. Do you provide classes and/or support groups on care issues? (caring for aging parents, grief, cancer support or other types of support groups.

In the past we have had support groups on grief.

Rachel @ Future Pastor's Wife said...

1. About 100, non-denominational.

2. Well, here's how ours works, and this may answer some other questions you have. And before it sounds like I'm bragging on my church, let me just say this is the FIRST church we've been in that does something like this.

Our church members are extremely pro-active with service. We have a handful of members who feel explicitly called to hospital, home care, nursing home, street ministry in the Quarter to the homeless, etc. ministry and they head up everything. There is no real committee, they just work with the church on organizing volunteers and then they plan where to go, who to see, etc. You would think such a lack of structure would be a detraction, but honestly this is the smoothest I've ever seen a ministry like this work. Maybe it's because we're a smaller church. We have a counseling center that provides grief counseling, our pastor is a licensed counselor and does counseling ministry. Another thing I've noticed about our church is that those in need have no problem calling and requesting help, prayer, etc. I've never been in a church before that does that. Pretty much the only thing we don't cover from your list is childbirth, but maybe that's because we have so many ladies who are more than eager to share their childbirthing and rearing advice, LOL.

3. No we don't have a specific system. Everything is very go-with-the-flow, minister as the Spirit leads.

4. Our pastor is a pastor (obvs), a teacher of Bible classes, and a counselor and runs the counseling ministry. He does a lot of the counseling himself but he also delegates a lot of counseling throughout his network (for example, he's specialized in marriage & family; he'll often refer drug or se*ual abuse to an LPC). And both he and his wife are very involved with visitation within church members. He doesn't really do hospital visitation for people he doesn't know unless they are directly connected (family or friend) to one of our members. The ministry volunteers are the ones who go around to different hospitals & nursing homes and minister to strangers.

5. See #2. He is a lay person, and one of the most selfless people I've ever met. He's also a nurse by profession, so maybe that's why he's so compassionate. :)

6. We offer counseling classes but no classes for support to the aged and ill.

Hope all this helps with your research!

Anonymous said...

1. 250 or so

2. It varies. One of the deacons has that title, I think, but I don't know which one even. I am not sure there is one person "in charge" of this entire area. Great idea though! We do General announcements and pass around sign up sheets in Sunday School (like for meals for families).

3. none that i know of

4. He visited us at home after our son was born. I don't know if that is still the case.

5. not one specific person that I know of, more like whoever sees a need shares it

6. no

I feel like I don't know much!!

Beverlydru said...

1. About 140 people. Assembly of God

2. The Women's Minstry Coord. handles this. She is an unpaid minister.

3. No specific system - this is a small town and everyone pitches in. Small towns are really better about this than large.

4. Ministerial staff handles visitation. The sr. pastor had 2 ordained ministers who work on staff for no salary. : (

No classes or support groups though I can see the need.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Check your email!

It have got lots to share with you!

Robin

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

1. Size of church - what is your approximate weekly attendance? (Sharing your denomination is helpful for trends, but optional)

We are a PCA church with maybe 250-300+ attenders per week.

2. Under what umbrella is care organized and provided? (e.g., through Sunday School/Bible Study classes, general announcements, organized team of care givers, deacons)

I'm a little unsure here. There is a group of women that organize meals and we have deacons, but I'm not sure of the protocol. It seems to be a little weak. :(

3. Do you use a specific system such as Stephens Ministry or something else? If so what is it and how effective is it?

Not that I know of.

4. What is the pastor and other ministerial staff involvement in care/crises? Does he/they make hospital visits/rotate being "on call", etc.?

The pastors (4 of them) do rotate hospital visits, ect.

5. Is there a person at your church whose primary role is ministering to folks needing care, those in the hospital, etc.? Is that person a paid staff member or a lay person?

No, I don't think that there is. I think it may fall under the womens ministry for food, ect, and the deacons (I honestly think it would be BETTER if we had a designated person for this! That person could USE the ministries mentioned, but due to the size of our church, it probably needs to be separate.)

6. Do you provide classes and/or support groups on care issues? (caring for aging parents, grief, cancer support or other types of support groups.

Not that I know of.

Brook said...

1. We attend one of Calvary's (Evangelical Free) three campuses. West Campus has approximately 500 attendees.

2. Our building is fairly small since we're growing so rapidly and do not have Sunday school, but weekly growth groups in homes. The care ministry is ideally ran through the growth groups or the women's ministry that the person/people in need are involved with. We have a food ministry that provides for funerals and the secretary will send E-mails asking for donations of food if someone is sick or hurt and needs meals provided. The orphan/foster care/international adoption that sends out monthly letters of encouragement and provides meals, etc. for families who just brought children home. Our church has elders, but not deacons.

3. We do have a Stephens Ministry that reaches out to people, but honestly I do not know what their role is unless someone is recommended to them and I think most recommendations come from outside of the church.

4. Elders and pastors call on members and attendees while they're in the hospital and shortly after returning home. Our campus pastor was at the hospital to see me as I came out of surgery for my appendectomy a year ago.

5. We don't have a pastor in charge of care, but one for small groups.

6. There are support groups for many issues that are provided at the main campus on a regular basis.

Debbie said...

1. I belong to a Southern Baptist Church that is quite large in Phoenix. I'm bad with numbers but I think it's about 2,500. In the summers, our numbers are much lower though.
2. There are Bible study classes for all ages on Sundays and Women's Ministry classes throughout the week, along with activities such as hiking, trips, movies nights, etc.
3. There is a Stephens Ministry active in our church and they hold classes to train others often.
4. There is a specific minister who has the job of visitation to hospitals. There are also volunteers who help out. Our main pastor usually doesn't do those visits unless a specific request is made. He cares for his wife who has MS.
5. I forgot to mention that we have a parish nurse who is available for any emergencies in church. There are several nurses who also volunteer in case of an emergency.
6. We have many support groups including divorce, co-dependent, grief, aging parents, etc.

I must say that despite having a large church with many ministries, there are still times when people get lost between the cracks. I guess that's the negative with a large church.

TCKK said...

1. Size of church - what is your approximate weekly attendance? (Sharing your denomination is helpful for trends, but optional)

We are about 40 people and we are Church of God Anderson, Indiana

2. Under what umbrella is care organized and provided? (e.g., through Sunday School/Bible Study classes, general announcements, organized team of care givers, deacons)

It's not an organized thing in our church. However, you've got us thinking and we're going to start praying and hopefully get something going. We're like Sarah's church (the first poster). People either get a lot or they get left out by accident.

3. Do you use a specific system such as Stephens Ministry or something else? If so what is it and how effective is it?

No

4. What is the pastor and other ministerial staff involvement in care/crises? Does he/they make hospital visits/rotate being "on call", etc.?

The pastor (my husband) does the hospital visits, but he also encourages our congregation to make visits some too. And they do.

5. Is there a person at your church whose primary role is ministering to folks needing care, those in the hospital, etc.? Is that person a paid staff member or a lay person?

That would be the pastor. Also, we have a few ladies that make a point to send encouraging cards to people who are sick or going through hard times or have missed a couple weeks of services, etc.

6. Do you provide classes and/or support groups on care issues? (caring for aging parents, grief, cancer support or other types of support groups.

No we don't do this.

Karen said...

1. We have two campuses...about 1200 total on Sunday...Church of God

2. Sunday School/Bible Study classes, general announcements, organized team of care givers, individuals

3. Not familiar with this ministry and do not use an organized one to my knowledge

4. The senior pastor and all the ministerial staff share in this...someone is always available to meet you at the hospital

5. There is a wonderful lay sister that does much of the coordinating and follow up with these services....

6. There are some small groups that address some of these concerns...I think more of this would be a great ministry...so many people are hurting and reluctant to ask for help or support...

Mary said...

Hi! After reading this post and all the comments, I'm out of time this morning to give my own answers, but I did want want to comment on one thing...we have a mentally retarded adult daughter, and we have only one church within three suburban cities that has a class for disabled kids. I go to church about 1 or 2 times a week because its also difficult to find Christian people to come in and take care of her on Sunday morning. I know it isn't easy to have a class like this for either children or adults that are mentally disabled, but it is a need in the church today.

God bless you, and your congregation...it seems they are really trying to meet needs.

Mary

Lisa notes... said...

1. Size: about 350, Church of Christ.

2. Care is usually organized through our Sunday night small Bible study groups that meet in homes. Other times through Sunday morning classes.

3. No specific system.

4. Our pastor does make hospital calls, and we have an on-staff counselor who also makes visits. We have 3 elders who also do that, and they probably rotate “on call” but I’m not sure. Our members are also pretty good about keeping up with each other's needs on their own.

5. No particular person has this as their primary role.

6. Now and again we’ll have a class or two on these issues, but nothing regular, and no support groups offered at our church. We have several larger churches close by, though, that do offer ongoing support groups. Our members occasionally will participate in those.

Blessings on your ministry!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

1. About 1,000 weekly.
2. Through small (or "cell" or "house") groups which meet mainly in homes on a weekly basis. Small groups function like traditional smaller churches did. We have a group leader who is under the umbrella of a coach, who is under the supervision of our Adult Ministries pastor, who answers to the senior pastor, ultimately.
3. I don't think so, although a small group could probably do that if the members wanted. There is lots of freedom.
4 & 5. There is the person mentioned in #2, plus an associate pastor (full time) who visits the ill regularly. We get a weekly update on people who are in the hospital or have lost loved ones, etc. so that the entire staff of 30 or so stay in-the-know so that we don't have the "Dilbert" situation below.
6. We have all kinds of support/interest groups. Usually a congregant will approach a staff person and say, "Our church needs (insert need) ministry. We're not reaching people in this situation." And then that person is encouraged to begin that ministry with guidance from Adult Ministries.

Liz said...

1.Size of church - what is your approximate weekly attendance? (Sharing your denomination is helpful for trends, but optional)
6,000 in weekly attendance, combined from 3 campuses, Southern Baptist

2. Under what umbrella is care organized and provided? (e.g., through Sunday School/Bible Study classes, general announcements, organized team of care givers, deacons)

Our church employs a Care Pastor and an Associate Care pastor. (they also have a ministry assistant assigned to them) This team oversees the Home Groups (small groups meeting in various homes at various times through out the week) When the need is small, it is handled by the Home Group leader and members, when the need is large, the Care pastor is involved, as well as the Home Group leader.

3. Do you use a specific system such as Stephens Ministry or something else? If so what is it and how effective is it?

Answered above. It is effective if the person(s) in need are involved in a group. If they are not actively involved in the church, they could slip through the cracks.

4. What is the pastor and other ministerial staff involvement in care/crises? Does he/they make hospital visits/rotate being "on call", etc.?

Care Pastor and staff. Also, there are elders assigned to each “region” and they also would make these crisis visits.

5. Is there a person at your church whose primary role is ministering to folks needing care, those in the hospital, etc.? Is that person a paid staff member or a lay person?

Care Pastor, staff, Elders, Home Group Leaders and Members.

6. Do you provide classes and/or support groups on care issues? (caring for aging parents, grief, cancer support or other types of support groups.

Our church has a several support and recovery ministries; Grief, Post Abortion, 12-Step, being the most attended.

Hope that provides insight. Blessings as you see how God leads!