More Specialized Ministries

media
Won't You Be My Neighbor?
This documentary tells the life story of Mister Fred Rogers and shows his unique, affirming view of child development.
web resource
Health and Wellness
This website, provided by the Union for Reform Judaism, offers helpful information and resources about a variety of health issues.
media
The Church and Families of Children with Special Needs
This panel discussion considers what role parishioners, lay leaders, and clergy can play to support families of children or adults with special needs.
organization
Catalyst Leader
This organization provides workshops and online resources focused on leadership building for young adults.
web resource
Rest Ministries
This website serves as a clearinghouse, giving information and support to chronically ill persons through an on-line community, daily devotionals, and articles on a variety of topics, such as What Churches Should Know, Learning to Cope, and A Brighter Outlook.
book
The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place
This book takes readers beyond the what, where, and when of technology to outline a better lifestyle for your family.
book
Black Millennials & the Church: Meet Me Where I Am
This collection of African American narratives and statistics offers practical strategies to reach and disciple Black young adults.
web resource
Communities of Calling Website
The Collegeville Institute at St. John’ s School of Theology offers resources and programs to help people think about their individual callings (to people, places and work).
book
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
This resource invites readers to align their faith and beliefs with their behaviors.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
Your Caring Congregation

Congregations have long been places that nurture the care of souls. Long ago, the early church created strategies and tactics to care for widows and children. Nowadays, care in congregations involves visits to the sick, end-of-life care, support for grieving families, celebrating life transitions, encouragement for older adults, befriending those who experience loneliness and so much more.

Perhaps your congregation is looking to strengthen its care ministries. There are two ways to think about this. One way is to consider structures and operations. Who is responsible for organizing care activities? Are there ways to streamline communication? What might you do to improve the way in which care ministries are implemented?

A manual for care teams
Karen Lampe has written a useful resource titled The Caring Congregation that serves as a manual for care teams. There is much spiritual wisdom in this book. The book also addresses various practical issues. For example, the appendix contains a job description for a congregational care minister.

Listening and caring skills
Another way to enhance care ministries is to learn more about the process and practice of caring. Listening is one of the most powerful skills God has given us. John Savage’s book on listening, Listening and Caring Skills in Ministry, is an excellent volume about how to enhance caring relationships through listening. The book addresses skills such as paraphrasing, productive questions, describing behavior, truly hearing a story and so forth.

You can use the book as a guide to improving the skills of those providing care to congregants. Yes, there are two ways to address congregational care issues. You can address the structures and operations of your care ministries. And you can increase the capacity of those who are providing direct care services. Here are even more congregational care resources for you to consider.

For The CRG Created For The CRG
How Do You Use Social Media?

How does your congregation use Facebook? If you are a clergyperson, do you manage Twitter or Instagram for ministry? How about Pinterest or Snapchat or YouTube?

An instrument for ministry
The congregations that make the best use of Facebook and other social media are the ones that view these tools as instruments for ministry, not just for marketing. Certainly there is a marketing component to social media. Yet, if the marketing component drives the use of social media then an opportunity for a purposeful connection with others is lost.

Promoting interaction
I know a congregation which uses Facebook for comments on the sermon scripture passage for the week. This congregation of about 150 in worship have an average of 10 comments per week regarding the sermon text.

Another congregation uses social media for people to post prayers. Facebook becomes a kind of virtual Western Wall. Instead of folded pieces of paper placed between stone crevices, electronic petitions are shared.

Click 2 Save is a helpful book about social media as an instrument for ministry. The authors, Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson, address the question, “Is there more to social media than public relations?”

Discerning your use of social media
If you are a clergyperson, you might think about how you want to use web-based, interactive tools. Clergy face this question: How do I navigate relationship boundaries between my personal life and professional life when using social medial?

I’ve learned from Pastor Monique Crain Spells. Monique is the director of recruitment at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and she is also the pastor at Levi’s Table. At a Center-sponsored workshop, Monique described how she has chosen to be present on social media as a pastor. It is part of her ministry just as pastoral calling, teaching, and preaching are part of her work.

Choosing to use social media predominately as a professional tool for ministry may not work for everyone. But it is a choice that gives clarity regarding the purpose and use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and others.

More resources
Click here for other resources about social media and congregational life.

 

book
The New Copernicans: Millennials and the Survival of the Church
Written by a cultural analyst and theologian, this resource explores the lives of the millennial generation and makes sense of the generational disconnect felt across America.
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