For a total of over 10 years I have had an amazing opportunity to serve in the Congregational Care Ministry at Crosswalk Church. (Over 5 years out of my home, and an additional 5 years as volunteer staff). God has shown me and taught me so much about this Ministry.
I am taking this opportunity to share with you about “Caring for Others” through my own experiences with our people at Crosswalk and in the community. Besides reading educational reference material, I have gained knowledge in visitation to those who have spent time in nursing homes and hospitals, our shut ins who are too ill or disabled to leave their homes, and those who are going through some form of emotional issues. Lastly, through City Team Ministries, I audited CAADAC classes to help me Minister to addiction related issues with those here at Crosswalk and in the community.
In a Google search, the word care is defined as: “The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone or something.” Paul writes about care in 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 to the church in Corinth stating, “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” Simply stated, I interpret Paul’s words as building one another up and caring for each other.
Below, I have listed 8 suggestive steps in “Caring for Others.” Please note: Most importantly, with the gift of the Holy Spirit leading you and practicing the following steps, “Caring for Others” will allow you to be God-driven as opposed to your own self-reliance.
- Help people in need: Helping those in some form of need is a key of being caring. Helping the less fortunate, people you may not know well, allows you to find a productive way to be more caring.
- Ask people about their lives: Put more effort into learning about how other people are doing. Ask questions like, “How are you feeling?” “What is going on this weekend?” Asking questions shows you really care about how things are with a person.
- Apologize when you need to: Caring people have concerns how their actions affect other people. If you say something unintentionally that may hurt someone, be quick to say “I’m sorry, if I have hurt your feelings, I care for you.” And always make eye contact.
- Do favors for people: These favors are not designed for you to become an errand person, but maybe show your generosity by understanding the person’s needs and be willing to help out with what is realistic to you. Providing resources and suggestions to help someone can be rewarding.
- Share: Sharing means you care. Be willing to share your knowledge over a troublesome area a person may be suffering through. Share your own God given talents with someone.
- Check in with people: Let people know you care about them. Send a get well, encouragement, or birthday card with your own special message written on the inside of the card. A periodic phone call to just check in on them can be rewarding.
- Remember the details about people’s lives: Pay attention to what people share about themselves. Go as far as making notes after a visit to help you recall what you talked about on your next visit to them. Focus on the important details.
- Volunteer: This is a major way to be more caring. You can volunteer in your community outreach centers, libraries, senior centers and nursing homes to name a few. Congregational Care at Crosswalk Church is always looking for volunteers who want to get involved in Care Ministry. The only experience required is a willing and caring heart!
Being caring allows you to have a soft heart, a heart that pines for bringing cheer to others. I will admit, it is so easy to focus on our own goals, desires and wants. And yes, some of those goals, desires and wants are necessary. In fact, being caring can even bring us out of our comfort zone, as we learn to provide a listening ear and to notice when someone needs help without asking for a reward.
If you wish to pursue getting involved in a Care Ministry, please feel free to call me at the church office Monday through Thursday to set up an appointment to inquire about this rewarding service to God.
Jesus Christ cared so much for us that we know He went to the cross to save us and give us eternal life. I appreciate what the apostle Peter shared in 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
I will close with a quote from a young woman by the name of Miya Yamanouchi…”We can all make a difference in the lives of others in need, because it is the most simple of gestures that make the most significant of differences.”
I wish you well…God is so Good!