Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:2)
- Care for others in the way you’ve been cared for by God: The gospel is our motivation to care for one another. Jesus is the true Good Samaritan that cared for us while we were unable to care for ourself. He sacrificed his life and resources to give us life.
- Care in a way that connects people relationally: God has designed the body of Christ in a way that people are best cared for by other believers you do life with. Always look for ways to care for others in a personal way that connects them more deeply to Christian community.
Deacons form the foundation of the model because God gave them this role in His church (Acts 6). They are ordained and set apart as officers in a local church to lead and oversee the ministries of mercy. This is a significant and spiritual office requiring these men to be godly (1 Timothy 3) as well as full of the Spirit and of wisdom (Acts 6). See our Book of Church Order, Chapter 9 for more on this. When a Community Group can’t meet a need, Deacons bring resources from the church to help out.
We are most cared for when in a group of a few other believers who know your needs when you have them. Community Groups are in the center for this reason. They consist of 8-16 people that aim to live out the “one-anothering” the Bible directs us to have, which can’t be done on a Sunday morning. This includes bearing one another’s burdens with mutual love, encouragement, and generosity when one has a physical, emotional, spiritual or other need that requires care.
[COMMUNITY GROUPS] Interested in a Community Group?
Congregational Care Team (CCT):
Many members and regular attenders are not in a CG and therefore do not have people to call, pray with, or visit them when they are hurting. The CCT is a group of men and women members of UPC who have a heart to assist the pastors, deacons, and CG leaders to minister to them. The CCT will identify such people through prayer requests, deacons, staff and others who hear of those in need. They will follow up with them to pray, encourage or visit as they are able. This is not designed to be a long-term caring relationship, so they will also communicate the opportunities to get more connected.
Certain types of hurting people with different types of needs might require more acute care. There are 4 types of specialized groups. People might get recommended towards these groups from pastors, deacons, their CG, the CCT, the Family Advocate Team, or just hear about them from others. Some in a CG might decide to temporarily attend a specialized-group instead of their CG for a season. Many will do both.
Care Groups: Care groups are for those how are grieving a loss. Grief Share is for those who have lost a loved one. Divorce Care is for those grieving the loss of a marriage.
[GRIEFSHARE] Suffering the loss of a love one or friend?
Recovery Groups: Recovery groups are for those in need of healing, recovery or just feel stuck. This could be because of a past trauma such as sexual abuse. It could be because of an addiction to substances, spending or pornography. It could be because of depression, anxiety or simply feeling spiritually stagnate. Recovery Groups help those who are bearing something that is keeping them from being the person God created them to be.
[FREEDOM COLLECTIVE] Need healing from sexual abuse?
[reGROUP*] Need healing or recovery in order to be who God created you to be? *This ministry is not offered at UPC; we are promoting it at Summit Church.
Equip Groups: Equip groups are a form of proactive care. These look to provide teaching, training and encouragement in an areas such as finances, marriage or parenting.
[FAITH & FINANCES] Struggling financially or need help budgeting?
[MARRIAGE/PARENTING MENTORSHIP OR CLASS] Struggling with marriage or in parenting?
Stephen Ministers: Stephen Minister’s are a group of men and women who have been specifically trained (50 hours) in order to better come alongside hurting people in a long-term, one-on-one relationship consisting of listening, prayer, and encouragement.
[STEPHEN MINISTRY] Desire someone to simply talk to who will listen and care?
Family Advocacy Team:
The FA Team mainly works with those in the community to help them move toward healthy community, stable housing, financial stability, and spiritual growth.