ChristCare Small Group Ministry
ChristCare is a model of small group ministry developed by Stephen Ministries of St. Louis, Missouri – the same organization that developed the Stephen Ministry system of one-on-one caregiving. Each ChristCare group is to be a small community of faith where the participants grow deeper in relationship with each other and with God. The ChristCare vision is “Circles of Care with Christ at the Center.”
ChristCare groups are led by a trained ChristCare Leader who has taken part in a 40-hour training course. Each group has four to twelve people who covenant with each other to meet at least twice a month for 90 minutes. Every ChristCare group participates in the four essential elements of ChristCare, but each group will vary the emphasis it places on each of the four elements.
The four essential elements of ChristCare are:
- Community Building & Care – this is the time in which the group members get to know one another, build community, and share in each other’s joys and sorrows
- Prayer & Worship – the group enters into God’s presence in prayer and worship – not as a replacement for congregational worship, but as a way to draw closer to God
- Biblical Equipping – a very unique approach to the Bible – a group of Spirit-led people discussing scripture and using it as an equipping tool for daily life
- Missional Service – a group needs a purpose outside of itself in order to remain healthy – ChristCare groups seek out ways to share God’s love with others in tangible ways
ChristCare groups re-covenant approximately every six months. This provides a time to review the covenant agreement and allows a graceful exit for those who are not able to continue meeting with the group. The typical life span for a ChristCare group is two years – at which time the group will close and either birth into two new groups, or group members may disperse into other ChristCare groups to develop relationships with other RLC disciples. This cycle of closure and birth and forming new groups helps ChristCare groups to maintain their vitality, and allows us to regularly invite new people into the ChristCare experience (as symbolized by the open circle in the ChristCare logo).
For more information about ChristCare Small Group Ministry or to seek out a group to join, contact Pastor Ryan.
You can also learn about ChristCare groups from these leaders who are currently leading groups:
- Wendy Messer
- Scott Poore
- Jason Kahl
- Mike and Chris Wise
- Ashley Thompson
ChristCare Leaders take part in 40 hours of training in sixteen modules covering every aspect of small group life in preparation for their ministry of leading a ChristCare group. And then while leading a group, ChristCare Leaders gather monthly for a SEA Group (Support, Encouragement, Accountability) meeting with their peers that serves to undergird and strengthen their ministry.
The spiritual gifts that may be particularly helpful for a ChristCare Leader are: Proclamation, Teaching the Faith, Encouragement, Generosity, Nurturing Leadership, Mercy, Wisdom, Knowing, Faith, Helping, Visionary and Managing Leadership, Evangelism, or Shepherding. However, having these gifts does not guarantee satisfaction serving as a ChristCare Leader – and by the same token, lacking these gifts does not exclude you from ChristCare leadership. If you are interesting in exploring serving as a ChristCare Leader, contact Pastor Ryan.