Small groups are typically a well established entity within the church. They become even more critical when a crisis/long-term care situation arises. With this in mind, there is a place for a unique small group which will provide simple, yet strategic care for a longer term need.
1. Identify a Group Leader For the Care Group
The point person not only provides leadership but also serves as a buffer and communication channel between the family and the broader body of Christ. The family is helped and protected by the small group. Based upon the length of time that care will be needed, it may be good to have two people working in tandem with one another as co-leaders. This will insure leadership when one leader is needed elsewhere.
2. Invite Outside Expertise to Advise the Group
The care group should invite a trained person to help them understand the issue and
provide basic information and perspective on how the situation or crisis will affect the
person and family. The more information you gather at this level, the better. Depending on the nature of the problem, this could mean consulting a social worker, a medical professional, a counselor or any other specialist who may bring helpful perspective to the care needs.
3. Regular Meetings of the Care Group
It is imperative to evaluate on a regular basis. Have the point person bring concerns to the group and communicate information and questions back to the family. Good communication is crucial. This is why the relationships described in the concentric circle diagram (see previous post) are so important. The meetings can be reduced as the situation becomes less acute.
4. Promote Healthy Communication
With the small group formed, it is vital that they communicate clearly with the
broader church about ongoing needs. They can also protect the family
from being overwhelmed during the early stages when everyone will want to help.
Many churches now have access to helpful electronic means where new information can be regularly posted. If there is no access, information in a bulletin insert may suffice. Another suggestion is to have a designated phone line with updates and the ability to receive information for those offering help.
Designate a point person in the small group on a weekly basis. Make sure
everyone in the church knows how things are going to be handled and encourage participation in the way that has been outlined. Only emergencies should
bypass this process.
Copyright © 2013 Timothy S. Lane. All rights reserved.