Care Teams Guidelines

For where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there among them.
Matthew 18:20

Need for Pastoral Care

The ministry of Community Mennonite Church is deeply supported by small groups who provide mutual care among group members. Each of our pastors and our pastoral elders provide various types of one-on-one pastoral care according to gifts, abilities, and availability. At times, there are situations which call for more focused and sustained care than is appropriate for the mutual care of our typical small groups. CMC has had a tradition of Care Teams, which have supported persons through difficult situations related to parenting, illness, finances, and broken relationships.

Establishing a Care Team

If you or someone you know in the congregation has need for a Care Team, contact the Pastoral Team. The Pastoral Team will assess the need as well as our capacities to sponsor a Care Team. At times, Pastoral Team will recommend an alternative to forming a Care Team, such as a referral for professional help, a series of pastoral counseling sessions, or an individual support person. Below are guidelines for our CMC Care Teams.

  1. Care Teams are led by a member of Pastoral Team, usually a pastor and sometimes a pastoral elder.
  2. The Care Team leader will regularly communicate with another member of Pastoral Team for spiritual support and direct accountability in this sensitive leadership responsibility.
  3. Care Teams are typically 4-6 persons from CMC, including the Care Team leader from Pastoral Team.
  4. Pastoral Team is responsible for inviting CMCers to become members of a Care Team. To keep roles and responsibilities clear, often it is best that very close friends or small group members not also serve on their Care Team.
  5. All members of a Care Team will be committed to confidentiality.
  6. Care Teams require regular communication and meeting times. Care Team leaders are responsible for establishing good communication. Typically, Care Teams meet once or twice each month in person with other supportive measures and follow-up according to individual commitments.
  7. Although there are professionals in a wide variety of helping services at CMC, Care Teams are not professional teams. The Care Team leader will help Care Teams to begin and end well, so as not to create dependency.
  8. If after 6 months, there is still a need for ongoing care, the Pastoral Team will assess whether to end the Care Team and minister in a different way, to reconfigure the team, or to continue. We do not recommend Care Teams to continue beyond one year.

Outcomes

Pastoral Team expects that Care Teams will take seriously the responsibility to bear one another’s burdens, to pray, and to seek Christ-centered wisdom with the person or family who needs care.

A good Care Team member will…

  1. Make Care Team meetings a priority.
  2. Listen with love to what others share.
  3. Keep the content of Care Team meetings confidential.
  4. Appropriately offer counsel, insight, and help.
  5. Communicate directly with the Care Team leader regarding concerns about the Care Team.
  6. Faithfully remember the situation in prayer during and between Care Team meetings.
  7. Follow up with commitments made during the Care Team meetings.
  8. Acknowledge hardship and foster hope during Care Team meetings.

Approved August, 2016.