Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Well, what do you know?

From a Previous Post:
Have the church membership split up between the elders/deacons of the church. Have each one responsible for keeping in touch with the families that are assigned to them. If a family misses 2 or more weeks of services, have them contact the family to make sure that everything is alright. Send out anniversary and birthday cards as appropriate to their families. If a family has a need, they are to contact the elder first, then the elder will contact the pastor if they are not able to meet the need or if they determine that the pastor would be the appropriate one to handle the situation. This frees the pastor to focus on the most important needs of the church, and it also has someone besides the pastor responsible for the congregation and their needs. 
Too many churches think that the only one who should keep up with the members and their needs are the pastor. The elders look upon themselves as the group that tells the pastor what to do. They don’t have to do anything themselves, except maybe pray over someone occasionally.

When a church is new and just starting out, the pastor is the one who does most of the work. But once a solid congregation begins to form, positions in the church are filled and ministries are put into place, then it is time for others to really step up and take on their share of the responsibility. One way to do this is for the elders/deacons of the church to share in the ministry of the congregation.
These are the people who are supposed to be above reproach in your church, and should be comfortable ministering to anyone, whether in the church or the community. So split the congregation up among them. You can use the alphabet, geographic location or any sensible way of dividing the membership. Let each elder/deacon have a copy of the people who they are being given charge over. Share as much information as possible. Then the elders/deacons should make sure that they gather all pertinent information that may be missing. If the elder/deacon is unfamiliar with this particular family, have them contact the family and make an appointment to visit them. If a family that is assigned to them misses church for 2 or more weeks, have them contact the family to ensure that everything is alright. Birthday, Anniversary, Sympathy cards should be sent as appropriate. Have the elder/deacon deliver the card to the person in charge of mailing all church matters so that the church can pay for the cost of postage, unless the elder/deacon chooses to provide that themselves as an offering to God, not their tithe.
Issue a list to each family showing who is assigned to which elder/deacon, and make sure that all contact information is provided, especially cell phones if available in case of an emergency.
It is hard for a pastor to visit each and every family regularly, and this takes some of the load off of the pastor so that they can dedicate their time to the most needy at the moment.
Everyone wins with the effort. The church tends to be alerted easier if there are any needs of a family, the members know that someone cares about them, and the Pastor can minister to the most needy of all.
Of course, the pastor should always have an open door policy for anyone who would like to speak with him. This is not a replacement for the pastor’s role in counseling. It just allows more time for any counseling that is needed.

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