Caring For One Another
by Dee Dowdy
“Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves. (1 Peter 3:8 CEB)
Peter reminds us that as members of this wonderful living “thing” called the Church, we are to love one another. Loving one another means that we share in one another’s lives, we look after each other’s needs and we make sure no one feels forgotten or unloved. In the books of Acts (Chapter 6) we see how the Apostles put a program in place to assure that all in the early church felt that love and care. The Apostles focused their energy on teaching, preaching and equipping others for ministry. Meanwhile, they appointed others to serve as caregivers of the church. These people focused their energy on building relationships with those under their care. This idea allowed the Church to grow while assuring that those who were already part of it never felt “left-out.”
Therefore, I would like our church to follow the biblical example set forth by the early church by establishing some caregivers within our church. I have already mentioned this calling it the “Shepherding Program.” However, so far the response has not been strong enough to establish the program. Therefore, let me explain once again how it would work. A volunteer would be assigned 5-6 families to look after. The families (or individuals) you would be assigned would typically be those who attend the worship service that the volunteer attends. This would allow the volunteer to be aware if any of their “sheep” miss more than a couple Sundays and they could therefore check on them.
The volunteer would be asked to build relationships with those they are assigned to in order that no one in our church would ever fill disconnected or unloved. (Note: I have been to see a couple of shut ins who have not had a visit for anyone from the church in a while). The volunteer would help communicate any spiritual need or concern that any of their sheep have to me. The volunteer could then do whatever else they felt lead to do to show Christ’s love to their group.
I know some of you are already looking after some of our more disabled members and I thank you. But I want to ask others of you to please consider being part of this ministry. Those who we have indicated that they would be willing to serve as of this writing are: Jim and Wanda Douthitt, Betty Crowe, Sammy Hawkins (GINA ADD ANY NAMES YOU HAVE HERE). We need a minimum of 12 “shepherds” to get this program going. Therefore, please consider being part this important ministry. Please call the church office or text me at 205 234-9682 to let me know you are willing. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I need to hear from you by October 30th. I pray you will decide to be part of this program. I am….
Your Brother In Christ,