We’ve been producing CareLeader.org for just over a year now. During that time a number of you have let me know how you’re using CareLeader.org to equip your own care leaders. I’ve listed a few of your ideas (and a few of my own) to come up with seven ways you can use CareLeader.org’s content in your church.
- Preparation for counseling sessions: If you went to seminary, you probably didn’t take a lot of counseling classes. Maybe two to four—max? So while you know what the Bible says about discipleship, depression is another story. But CareLeader.org can help.
The articles and other resources on CareLeader.org help you frame/understand from a biblical perspective the emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual challenges people face. The posts also demonstrate how biblical principles can be used to help the people in your congregation. That’s why CareLeader.org posts can be a helpful read before you meet with a young woman who wants to talk with you about how she’s been sexually abused, or a person who resists your advice, or the person in your congregation who is angry at God, or those who struggle with other problems. While our posts won’t make you an expert on those subjects, they will help you see how you and your church can play a vital role in helping people deal with those and many other issues.
- Ideas for sermons: Many of the articles on CareLeader.org explain the common ways people respond to physical challenges, temptation, stressful situations, suffering, etc. Those insights can help you understand what people in your congregation are going through. And the tips in the articles can give practical suggestions you can incorporate into your messages as applications points.
When you talk about these issues in your messages, it also helps raise your church members’ awareness about how others are struggling. The net effect? Your church becomes a more sensitive community, and your people see you model how to apply Scripture to a variety of issues.
- Care ministry development in your church: CareLeader.org articles can help you evaluate your own strategy or give you ideas on how to build a care ministry in your church. From time to time we have other pastors explain their approach to organizing care ministry in their churches. For example, here’s one that explains how to provide sustainable care to a congregation. And here’s one by a pastor who canceled Sunday evening services to provide more effective care for his members. You can find more articles like these at our care ministry administration page.
Training other church ministry leaders: We’ve begun producing more packets of information that you can use to train leaders. At my church, we gather our home group leaders each month to share info with them about what’s going on in the church and to equip them to be more effective leaders. Settings like those are the perfect place to use our Caring for the Depressed packet to teach leaders how to help depressed people in your church. Or you can use our Freedom of Responsibility packet to equip leaders to guide other church members find out what they are and aren’t responsible to do (and what they need to trust God to do) to change their circumstances.
You can also share articles with your deacons to prepare them to care for senior adults or for hospital visitation. Or, here’s another example, you can share a post with a home group leader who has someone in his group who thinks he married the wrong person. Or you can use an article we’ve created to help small-group leaders (or any other ministry leaders) know when (and how) to interrupt someone who is dominating a discussion. Share the article directly with the leaders, or use it as an outline to teach them. Your call.
- Making copies of (and sharing) our content: You’re free to reproduce the materials and share them with people in your congregation. You can even put your own logo on them as long as you indicate that you got the material from us (unless the article is used by permission from a different site, which will be noted at the article’s end). Just make sure the web address to the article is included on your copies.
- Encouraging leaders in your church to sign up for the CareLeader Weekly newsletter: It’s probably hard for you to keep track of all the issues that leaders in your church encounter. So sharing CareLeader.org with them may be a way to help them select the information that would be most helpful to them. Thanks to everyone of you who’ve already done this. And if you haven’t, maybe it’s something you’ll consider?
- Reposting our articles on your blog: Feel free to repost and share our content with your readers. The only exception—if the article is “used by permission” from a different site (which will be noted at the article’s end), you can’t repost it. Otherwise, all you need to do is include a link back to the original article with the sentence “This post first appeared on CareLeader.org, [date], [link].”
What about you?
How are you using CareLeader.org in your church? Let us know in the comments section below.