Men's Team Ministry to Widows, Solos and People in DistressA husband dies or a marriage breaks down. The church rallies around to meet the crisis and support the widow or solo mum. As months pass, people assume that everything is now somehow OK, sort of normal. Usually, however, the huge sense of loss continues and is reinforced by many practical problems. From financial
|management, home and car maintenance to kicking a soccer ball around with the kids, there are ongoing needs that don’t simply disappear.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
God speaks many times of doing good works for widows, the fatherless and distressed. See Isaiah 1:17.
Often we forget about the needs of people in the church and focus more on outside missions. Galatians 6:10 calls us to look after “those who are in the household of faith”.
|As men, we know that part of our responsibility is to help others. We see a need and we want to fix it. We love to solve problems. We like to use our skills and abilities. Usually though, our efforts are random and lack long-term benefit. Churches face an organisational nightmare of trying to constantly match needs with resources.
There is a better way! Promise Keepers is excited to work with New Commandment Men’s Ministries (NCMM) to promote a proven, sustainable model of a team of four men working long term to help one widow or solo mother (care receiver). This is a natural fit for existing Men’s Small Groups to give them a
So what are the main differences between kind gestures and the love of Christ?
|Kind Gestures||Love of Christ|
|Project orientated||Relationship orientated|
|Little impact on recipient||Transforming|
Kind gestures are good but they focus on the project instead of the person. The effect of ongoing team ministry on a care receiver is phenomenal, knowing she has a team of men who are going to turn up next month, the month after that, for as many months as it takes. Many comment that they feel truly incorporated back into the church instead of feeling isolated.
Because a team is involved, over time members can be replaced if men have to drop out due to health, moving to a different town, etc. The key is that the care continues for as long as it is required. A team in the States had one of its men diagnosed with terminal cancer. Not only did the church recruit a replacement but they also formed a new team to care for the man’s wife. Although he was dying, he knew that his wife would be cared for and he knew who was on the team. Isn’t that incredible? Imagine the reassurance that gave both of them. How much more caring could a church community be?
|| Project Ministry
||Projects are organised and administered by the individual teams.||•
||Projects are administered by the ministry leader, placing most of the burden on one person.|
||Scheduling is easy and predictable because teams meet on a specific Saturday of each month.||•
||Each project often has a unique schedule that must be worked out with volunteers.|
||Teams are permanent and don't have to be recruited every month.||•
||New volunteers often have to be recruited for every project.|
||The team is building long term relationships.||•
||Few relationships are being developed.|
||Team members seldom suffer burn out because each member shares the load with three others.||•
||Burn out occurs frequently because volunteers tend to work alone or are called upon to work too frequently.|
||Team members can plan projects over several months and plan accordingly.||•
||Most projects involve only one or two visits.|
||The team often has the opportunity to minister to neighbours and friends of the care receiver.||•
||Few additional contacts are made because the volunteers are not returning to the care receiver.|
||Care receivers don't have to ask each time they need a project done because the team automatically shows up every month.||•
||Every time they need something, the care receiver has to make a special request.|
Promise Keepers is distributing the orientation kits to inspire and train men for this ministry. Our vision is to see hundreds of teams deployed within the next two years. You may be able to adapt or improve the model. We are impressed at the depth of thinking and experience of involved with NCMM which makes the learning curve shorter and flatter! Users of the kit can also access ongoing support from Promise Keepers and New Commandment Men’s Ministries, including phone and email support as well as regular newsletters. An introductory DVD is available from PK. You can also view it on YOUTUBE – links below.
New Commandment Men’s Ministries
Introductory video on YOUTUBE
Orientation Kits available from Promise Keepers CONTACT US
Group Publishing has published an interview with NCMM founder Herb Reese in Rev! Read this to find out more about the heartbeat of why this ministry exists and is so important. Read more at rev.org>>