A Church Culture of Care
1 Cor. 12:12-27 (NLT)
We desire that Central Ministries engage people in a caring community that expresses God’s love through discipling and evangelizing. We believe caring needs to be personal and relational as the Holy Spirit equips and leads.
Care and Comfort, “patient endurance, encouragement, that overflows to others.” 2 Cor. 1:3, 4
- The God of “all” comfort (encouragement with words or presence)
- Comforts us in “all” our troubles
- SO THAT…We can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort.
THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT
- GOD is LOVE, MERCIFUL, and CARING, 1 Peter 5:7
- God sent the Comforter, Counselor, Paraclete (come along side)
COMFORT OTHERS IN TROUBLE
- Primary ways to care: Adversity, an opportunity to care
- Care through evangelism
- Care through discipling
- Christian care centers on:
- PEOPLE, not issues
- PRESENCE, not programs
- FAITH, not fixating or fixing
- Practice caring skills:
- Being attentive—listening skills
- Expressing concern
- Asking questions that express care
Study and Discussion Questions
1. How would you evaluate the church body in showing care? How would you evaluate yourself in expressing care? Share an opportunity where you cared for someone or you felt genuinely cared for.
2. What are your personal expectations of care, if needed? A visit from a pastor, a trained volunteer or a combination of both?
3. Study the account of Job and his friends. Scan these passages (Job 1-2, 16:1-5, 27:1-6 and chapters 38-42) to get the highlights regarding Job and how his friends attempted to help him.
- Job is described, chapters 1, 2
- How did his friends initially express care?
Refer to Job 2:11-13
- What was Job’s demeanor throughout the ordeal?
- How did Job eventually respond to his friend’s behavior?
- What are some do’s and don’ts learned from Job’s friends?
Applying the Word to Life
4. Prayerfully, be attentive to those around you (work, school, neighbors, church) who might need care. Discuss how LIFE Groups may be the first responders to give care.
5. Practice being attentive by utilizing “listening skills.”
- Find a distraction free environment (no TV, smartphone, crowds)
- Eye contact
- Paraphrasing (repeat what you hear the person saying)
- Perception check (their feelings, emotions) ie. Ask, I sense you are angry, right?
- Ask questions only to help the person reflect, not for you to acquire information.