When I ministered at the Millington Church of Christ they had a ministry called the We Care Ministry. Each Sunday night we would meet before worship and go through attendance cards of who visited that morning. People would take notes and be assigned people to reach out to based on what needs were present. I had no idea that all those meetings would be a huge piece in our new ministry until a few months ago when the lightbulb came on and all the pieces that had taken us two years to figure out came together in an instant.
Before diving into all the background here is what we are doing, plain and simple. There is a ton of background here and many things I will explain later but I want to tell you what it currently looks like. Again, it is simple on the surface but there are a few things under the hood that drive this that are very important to understand. More on that later!
We started a new Wednesday night class as the hub of our outreach efforts. Here is what we do in the class:
Devo/Teaching: (5-10 minutes)
Training: Review our approach/teach a new aspect of what we are doing and why (10 minutes)
Action: Go over who we are reaching out to and who is going to get it done (25-30 minutes)
Prayer: Prayer is a huge part of what we are doing. More on that later (3-5 minutes)
That is what happens in class. I am trying for the class to be “real” so if a need comes up or a name comes up that we feel we should pray for we just stop and pray right then. This class is not about what happens in class. It is about what happens outside of class. In the days that follow, those who agreed to reach out to others are contacting people. They are making calls, meeting them on Sunday, emailing and connecting. Many of them are emailing me the results of their conversations and I have to say it is very exciting! Things are happening that were happening before but were too few and far between. People are seeing we care about them. Members are involved in ministry. People are being prayed for! God is doing some great things! Soon we will be coordinating Bible studies (Jesus 101) with those who are ready through all of this as well.
Again, there is a ton of background on each of those and I am going to go through the theory very soon. First I want to give you what we are actually doing. This is just the start. It is going to take me quite a few posts to lay all this out so please stick with me and please ask any questions you have along the way.
Too often we have been more interested in theory than in practice. But, leaders need to have some basic understanding of why they are doing certain things. If we have no knowledge of why, when things do not work as we thought they should, we’ll have no idea of what to do.
So far so good. Sounds like things are happening – and that’s the best part.
I like that you are showing that “We care.” Larry West has used this approach for years – and seems to be having good results.
This is also one of the keys to the success of one of the works we at Eastern European Mission partner with in Ukraine: Worship, Evangelism, and making a difference in the community in ways that are tangible and visible – but are not used to say “look at us at what we are doing,” but are letting the light of God’s love shine through to people in darkness. Read about it here. Sounds like you are on the right track.
John Ellas used to differentiate core values and aspirational values. Core values are things you are actually doing something about. Aspirational values are things you know are important but haven’t taken any action on. I am trying to have fewer aspirational values and more core.
I like that way of saying it. John is a pretty sharp fellow.