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EPISODE RESOURCES

 

FREE DOWNLOAD:
CLICK HERE to get a downloadable guide outlining Making the case for Care Ministry and offering 5 ways Care Ministry will strengthen your church.  Use this to gain buy-in from your board or executive team.
LISTEN to episode 69 for a deep dive into Making the case for care. 

CARE MINISTRY COHORT:

CLICK HERE to check out the Care Ministry Cohort website
CLICK HERE to register for the next upcoming information session

 

 

WHAT  IS THE CARE MINISTRY COHORT ABOUT?

 

The Cohort is a 6- month program where you join with 15-20 other ministry leaders that meet weekly and walk through a proven process that builds a strategic and sustainable care ministry in your church. 

It’s taking a collaborative approach to equipping the local church to care for its people. 

I offer best practice strategies, tried and true methods, templates, examples, pathways, and resources, and together we grow your church’s care ministry to uniquely reach and care for your community. 

We achieve this through weekly live calls that are more about learning from others, building strategies, and mapping out how you can apply them to your church and less like a webinar.  

Weekly calls will be 1-hour in length with the focus on offering practical takeaways, and collaborative sessions, and each week you are given the tools needed to apply and jump-start your care ministry.

I find one of the most common questions I get from church leaders is about what other people are doing.  Now you can ask those questions in this cohort.

I’m intentionally keeping the groups smaller, only approximately 15  people in a cohort, so over the course of 6 months it will become a supportive community that understands the challenges you are facing. 

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

 

Each month we will be focused on a key area of care and each week you will receive everything you need to achieve build or strengthen this area.   

 

MONTH #1 – Building a Plan

 

Before starting any project you need to start with a plan. It doesn’t matter if it’s an event or a home renovation.  To start it’s wise to know;

  • What you’re starting with
  • Determine where you want to go
  • Prepare the project 
  • Figure out what determines success. 

And these are the four areas we work on in the first month.  They don’t sound fancy but are necessary to set you up for success. 

You need to take stock of what your church has, what are your strengths, and areas of weakness, what you are currently doing in care, and what partners and tools you already have. 


And for this, I’ve developed a google sheet template to help you identify all these areas. 

Then you want to know where you want to go.  Some churches what to develop different care groups, others want to focus on building partnerships, and still, some want to develop a separate organization for care.  Every church is different and your community is different than others.  So this is really setting the vision.  

Again a worksheet is provided to walk you through this discovery. 

Before you start anything new it’s helpful to determine the readiness of your team.  Some churches are ready to take action right away, while others are in a different season and their timeline is going to look different.  

This doesn’t mean you can’t continue to build and strengthen the care team. But it could determine your order of steps. 

Then finally in the first month, we determine what success looks like.  

It can be easy to get distracted by shiny objects.  A new idea comes, an outreach opportunity pops up and the next thing you know you have been sidetracked from what you originally intended to do. 

So right at the outset, we build measurable goals and, milestones to keep us on track. 

While these topics aren’t what you first think of with Care Ministry, they are very important.  Plus from my many conversations with leaders, they are looking for a system and strategy, and building a plan is a key first step. 

 

MONTH #2 – Building Partners

In the second month, we will first look at building partners.  I choose this because most churches are overwhelmed with needs and establishing partners relieves a lot of pressure to be all things to all people. It is the easiest way to offer comprehensive care for your people without using any budget, or volunteers. All you need is a bit of time to research and connect. 

Week 1 is all about identifying partners and a worksheet is given to help you in your search.  Plus there are a few resources that can be used to search and learn about the community needs and services in your area. 

Week 2 is about how to build partnerships and trust with organizations.  This kinda seems easy, but community care speaks a much different language than the church and what you say can build bridges or barriers.  

Week 3 is all about how to integrate partnerships into your church.  We talk about triaging, and this is the first week we start looking at templates of intake forms and workflows. 

Finally, week 4 is about learning when it’s appropriate time to refer to community partners. 

The second month is going to be fun because building partnerships can have really big impacts on a church.  They can relieve the pressure of being all things to people

 

MONTH #3 – Building your team

 

If you’ve been following me for a bit then you know that I talk a lot about building a culture of care in your church rather than focusing on programs of care. 

For a long time, there was an expectation that the pastor is responsible for visitation, care calls, and care meetings. 

This isn’t feasible anymore.  There are too many needs for one person to care for and many times there are other people who are more skilled to provide pastoral or spiritual care than the pastor.

So with the goal of building a culture of care, where many people are equipped and empowered to offer care, we need to build a team. 

In month 3, we learn about the three kinds of helpers and how to recruit high-capacity team members.  We talk about onboarding volunteers and you are given a template for a volunteer onboarding guide.  

We discuss different roles and responsibilities and again you are given a template that you can customize for your church. 

And finally, you walk through some basic recommended training for your teams including discount links to partners. 

We are well past the days when the pastor is required to provide all the care however building a team of high-capacity volunteers can be tricky so together in our group of 15 we spend month three focused on building a team.

 

MONTH #4 – Building Programs

Most often there are a handful of programs that show up in the goals of a church.  And month 4 we jump right into building out these programs.   We are wasting no time, but with each week you are given when you need to implement the strategies we talk about.

It sounds like a lot of information.  But, the templates and tools sling-shot you forward and take all the work out of building a care ministry, you just need to implement it. 

The first program we address is Prayer Requests. This is probably where most churches hear of the majority of needs.  

It doesn’t matter to me if you use the paper prayer requests cards, or have a planning center form or a text campaign.  

I will share with you a strategy that you can ensure that every person that submits a prayer request feels like there is care wrapped around them and it happens all automatically.  No staff or volunteer time is required for people to feel cared for. 

This strategy is one of my favorites to share and it includes giving you the template for a 5-email and 3-text campaign.  

Prayer is the foundation of our faith and of care.  So together we will build a pathway and strategy for your church so no prayer request gets missed. 

 

The second program is Benevolence.  

I know my church has seen an increase in requests for financial support lately and so it’s important to make sure your church is ready with a policy, intake, and plan to address the requests for financial needs. 

This week we talk about different models of benevolence, I offer a sample policy and a template for an online form.

 

The third week is looking at a meal program. Having a meal train isn’t necessary, but for many churches, it’s an integral piece of care.   The cool thing is that having a meal program is a win-win-win opportunity. 

Not only do people in your church receive meals in a time of need, but those preparing the meals are empowered to use their gifts and it gives them purpose and then, meals also create an opportunity to connect with the community.  You can provide meals as an outreach, but also there are partnership opportunities with having a meals program. 

   

In the final week of month 4, we will look at Pastoral or Spiritual Care.  

This area is where I see the greatest variance in churches.  We will talk about different models your church can offer and you are given a template intake form, sample documentation note, and a follow-up pathway so people have wrap-around care.  

The point is not to create cookie-cutter pastoral care in the local church but a great opportunity to learn different approaches, strategies, and tools you can use for your church so that you are creating a care ministry that aligns with your church’s values, and strengths and meets the unique needs of your community. 

So in Month 4 each week we look at common care programs and you are given the tools you need to strengthen them, ensuring that they have intentionality and strategy. 

 

MONTH #5 – Building Capacity 

Now that you have a plan, you have connected to partners, built a team, and developed a strategy for your core programs now it’s time to build capacity.

In the 5th month, we look at 4 key areas that will build the capacity for your church to offer care and scale. 

These are;

  • Team Wellness
  • Crisis planning
  • Ethics and boundaries
  • Policies and procedures

Your care team is your greatest asset and mentoring them so they can remain well is super important.  Compassion fatigue impacts caregivers and we don’t want anyone to burn out. 

No one likes to be caught off guard and unprepared.  So week 2 we focus on crisis planning.  Hopefully, you never have to be in a situation when someone is in a crisis, but it’s helpful to know how to identify and de-escalate a crisis. 

While we talk about ethics and boundaries a bit in month three – buildings team.  I think it’s helpful to have a deeper dive. 

In week 3 we talk through ethics and boundaries for your church’s care team.  This is for the benefit of both the helper and those being helped. 

Week 4 we discuss common policies and procedures that have not been discussed that are often overlooked. Things like reporting abuse and how to support walk-ins.   

Month 5 is all about looking at the gaps and building the capacity of your care ministry so that it is able to scale with your growing church. 

 

MONTH #6 – Building Communication

This is flex month.  I have 4 topics that I think are common, but there is room to adjust to the group’s specific needs. 

Week 1 is about how your church communicates about its care ministry.   We map out how people are able to access your care ministry and what follow-up communication you offer. 

We can create the greatest care ministry in the world but if people don’t know it exists or how to access it, it’s pointless. 

Week 2 we take a closer look at how care can be used as opportunities for care.  I offer a checklist that allows you to look at your events, and activities through the lens of care. 

In the last two weeks, 3 and 4 we spotlight your church and you present a problem or issue that you would like help with from the group.  

In past mastermind groups, I found this exercise very helpful and I wanted to make sure we created space in our group. 

You have the collective wisdom of the group to help you brainstorm, and offer resources or encouragement.  Everyone benefits and pulls different nuggets of information from other spotlights, but then has the opportunity to get their specific need addressed 

So there you have the 6-month outline of the Care Ministry Cohort. I hope this can help you make an informed decision on whether you should join it.  

  • Month 1 – Building a plan
  • Month 2 – Building Partners
  • Month 3 – Building a team 
  • Month 4 – building your programs
  • Month 5 – Building capacity
  • Month 6 –  Building communication & Spotlights. 

This is 24 live sessions and each week you walk away with the tool, resource or template to implement what we went through.

You build your church’s care ministry in the community with other ministry leaders.  You receive encouragement and wisdom from over a dozen other churches each week.  

All this information can be found on the website at Care MinistryCohort.com and if you want to connect to ask questions you can book a discovery call with myself from there as well. 

While I think this is an incredible opportunity for every church to learn from others and strengthen their care ministry I know this might not be the best timing for you.  So I encourage you to consider these 6-month topics and see them as a blueprint to build your care ministry.  

CONNECT WITH HOPE MADE STRONG

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Join the Church Mental Health Facebook Group! In the Facebook group, we chat about how to care for others, and what are your challenges as well as share tons of resources.  This is a great community of pastors, clinicians, and those with lived experience and we want to get to know you.