Pastors and church leaders genuinely want to care for people in their congregations and communities. But pastors cannot care for an entire church, and most laypersons don't have the training to do it. The Caring Congregation Ministry is a model for person-to-person care that's been proven to work in small and large churches across the U.S. It is a laity-centered ministry, where laypersons receive rigorous training and then are commissioned to serve as Congregational Care Ministers, caring for others in their own congregation and their extended community.
This remarkable approach to congregational care was first developed by author Karen Lampe and her team at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, in Kansas City. It has been tested, refined, and strengthened, and is now being adapted in all sorts of congregational settings. One early adapter was co-author Melissa Gepford, who launched a Caring Congregation Ministry in her own rural church. Together, they have created this immensely practical guide for any pastor or leader seeking to create a congregational care ministry.
This Implementation Guide is the main book for getting started. It introduces the ministry model and explains the Five Essentials which form the ministry's foundation. It is extremely practical, full of checklists and other tools to help pastors and other leaders understand (and explain) this way of providing congregational care.
The Implementation Guide also includes a section focused on the crucial component of this ministrythe Congregational Care Minister, or CCM. This section fully describes the characteristics of CCM's, how to recruit people to this ministry, how to discern if candidates are a good fit, and how to conduct the CCM training over a multi-week period. It details the critical information CCM's must know, and the behaviors and habits they must practice in order to be effective.
Note that the companion book, The Caring Congregation Ministry: Care Minister's Manual, is required for the CCM training. It serves as a training workbook, which then becomes the CCM's personal reference manual.