Archive for care

Using Social Media to Reach and Minister to People with your Group

socmedWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Many are familiar with the idea of making contacts through cards, letters, phone calls, and visits for their Sunday School or Small Group.  We understand the value of a personal touch with face-to-face conversation, but we must not neglect the social media world that exists as well.

Making contact or connecting with those we have on our list is essential. Ask questions. Communicate events and information. Enrich relationships. Despite the proliferation of social media, many groups are still not using these tools connect with those on their ministry list and to others as well.

WHAT DO I DO? Here are a few things to consider when using social media with a group.

  • Understand what types of social media are used by your group so you can be the most effective.
  • Communicate weekly with social media.
  • Use social media to continue the teaching of the previous group experience or to prepare for teaching for the upcoming meeting of your group. This helps with application.
  • Use social media to promote group socials and update prayer requests and ministry needs.
  • If using Facebook, create a group for your group. Here is a video on how this is done and how it can benefit your group for both ministry to the members and reaching new people as well. https://vimeo.com/133695454

Stay in touch with your group. Use social media to complement your personal touch contacts. Doing so will enrich your communication and your care.

Communication Tools to Use with Your Class

communication-toolsWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Communication leads to community, an important goal for groups.  As the leader, ensure your participants hear from you regularly so they feel connected to the group.  This will also help group members keep up with group life when unable to attend, and it also allows you to communicate opportunities of connection beyond the group time.

WHAT DO I DO? Today there are many communication options…

  • Handwritten notes:  While some think that this option has gone the way of the dinosaur, many really appreciate the time, effort and sentiment that a note brings.  Invest in note cards and stamps. Send out a card or two to group members every week. It really makes an impression.
  • Telephone calls:  This method allows for a two way conversation that is personal. Calls communicate that you want to hear what is happening in your student’s life.  Carve out time to make 1 or 2 calls a week, and watch your relationships with students become stronger.
  • Texting:  Find ways to text very short but meaningful texts to your class members to let them know that you are praying for them and to remind them of brief, but important information.
  • Social Media:  This tool could be utilized to facilitate total class interaction.  You might use this option for digging deeper into a question from your group time or to share other information relevant to your topic.  You can also share information that people might have missed.

There are other ways to communicate, but the key will be practicing them. Find what works best for your group. Mix them up and avoid getting stuck in a rut.

4 Responses When Pain Interrupts Your Group

cryingThe Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18 NIV)

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? What do you do when pain interrupts your group? When no subject is off limits and a group shows genuine care and vulnerability (which you should), pain will come out in the middle of group time.

WHAT DO I DO? How do you handle it? Here are some thoughts:

  1. Listen to what is said and not said. This requires attentiveness. Some will tell what is going on in their lives. Take time to listen and show empathy. Empathize with persons in pain. We all experience pain in life. After listening, decide on next steps: Prayer for the person. Who else needs to know–with permission? Care in the moment and beyond. Perhaps a person is tearing up and not talking. Take time after class to talk or set up a time to talk.
  2. Use Care Group Leaders to help you care during the week. A teacher cannot do it all. I recommend care groups, much like a deacon family ministry plan.
  3. Have an active prayer chain/prayer ministry. Pain happens during the week as well. Ask Care Leaders to contact you, and have them contact people on their list to pray for those in pain.
  4. Empower people in pain to find the resources they need. Some people can develop a co-dependency to your care. Help them discover strength within themselves by referring them to professional counselors for long term recovery. Certain types of pain need therapy. Don’t try to handle them on your own. Ask your Pastor for referrals that would be helpful.

Pain happens to all of us. Be prepared to help the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit.

5 Primary Tasks of the Member Care Leader

getwellWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? A Sunday School class is a multifunctional group of people, and one of those functions is caring for members.  Group members need someone to lead them to care, meet needs, and provide support during difficult times.  My hope is that your class has a Member Care Leader or someone leading those functions.

WHAT DO I DO? It is important for the Member Care Leader to organize the group to meet practical needs when they arise. Lead the group to…

  • Contact regularly members to discover prayer needs and communicate those needs to the group.
  • Prepare meals during a time of illness, crisis, or  celebration–such as a birth of a child.
  • Send birthday cards to the group members.  A card can be encouragement
  • Send handwritten notes when someone is going through as challenging times (ex. separation/divorce, financial crisis, family crisis, loss of job, etc.). Email and text are great, but a handwritten note is more personal
  • Send flowers, sympathy cards, or get well cards–as appropriate–on the occasion of the death of a family member (ex. Grandparents, Spouse, Parents, siblings, child,  aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces) or for a surgery or hospital stay.

By leading them to care for each other, group members will learn how to extend the ministry of care as well.

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Jonathan Jordan has been a State Missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board since January 2010 and joined Groups and Faith Development in March 2013. Jonathan’s responsibilities small groups support, college and single adult ministry, web and social media, video training and event coordination.

Anytime, Anywhere

carecardWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? When we enroll people in Sunday School and provide consistent care for them through the class, about half of them will attend during group time (40% in larger churches and 60% in smaller churches). To increase class attendance, we need to increase our enrollment AND our care. And everyone needs to be part of the effort!

Without an emphasis on enrolling new people, classes will not grow and fewer people will be reached. Your leadership and example matter.

WHAT DO I DO? Enroll people anytime, anywhere. How? Consider these ideas:

  • Training. Teach your class about the value and benefits of enrollment. Help them to consider doing so on regular life paths throughout the week.
  • Terms. Change your conversation from enrolling people to adding people to your class care list.
  • Prayer. Spend time praying together about reaching new class members.
  • Goal. Together set a goal for the number of new class members you want to add this year.
  • Plans. Make plans for how to invite, reach, and care for new members.
  • Challenge. Print simple class care list invitations. Regularly give them to your class to share with friends, relatives, associates, and neighbors.
  • Fellowships. Invite people to fellowships, projects, and meals. Ask if you can add them to your class care list.
  • Evaluate. Take time often to talk about progress on your goal and plans.
  • Communicate. Remind frequently.

There are tons more ideas for enrolling anytime, anywhere. Press Comments and share your ideas.