The Caring Congregation Ministry

Implementation Guide

Book - Paperback
The Caring Congregation Ministry
Paperback ISBN: 9781791013387
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E-Book ISBN: 9781791013394
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Published February 2021

Pastors and congregations everywhere yearn to care for others, especially those who are suffering from loss or pain of any kind. But pastors cannot care for an entire church, and laity typically don't have the training to do it. The Caring Congregation Ministry is a model for ministry 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 one another, for their own congregation.

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. Karen and Melissa have partnered to share this immensely practical guide for any pastor or leader seeking to create a version of this ministry in their own church.

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 ministry--the 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.

The Implementation Guide closes with thoughtful and immediately helpful chapters full of information on situations involving special care, including personal crisis and trauma, community trauma, mental illness, recovery/addiction, and important considerations for doing this ministry in times of social distancing.

This book provides everything necessary in order for any church of any size or denomination, to build, launch, and sustain a congregational care ministry.

About the Authors

Karen Lampe

Karen Lampe is the Executive Pastor of Congregational Care at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, and serves in conjunction with senior pastor Adam Hamilton. Lampe received her undergraduate degree from Kansas University and a M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology.

Melissa Gepford

Melissa Collier Gepford is the Intergenerational Discipleship Coordinator of the Great Plains Conference, in which she helps congregations establish healthy discipleship systems. She grew up in East Texas and graduated from Perkins School of Theology, and as an ordained deacon, she connects church people to the world. Melissa is a writer, speaker, and resource curator. She enjoys drinking good coffee, working out, and testing her semi-green thumb. Melissa and her husband Bill enjoy dancing when they can and love playing with their son, Finnegan.