As a Leadership Team we have been working on clarifying care across our church. We’ve been spending a few month’s discussing and praying how we can care for one another well and how our existing structures are helping to achieve this. Below you’ll find a draft model that we are pleased to share.

We hope that in illustrating this, we will be able to clarify and care for each other well, as we grow and to be helpful in knowing what care in our church looks like.

Understanding Care

The Bible portrays Jesus as the great shepherd and carer of his people (John 10:11, 1 Peter 2:25 and Hebrews 13:20). He cares for us by leading us to salvation in the gospel (Ephesians 2:1-10). This is the greatest care that can be seen – to see someone turn from death to life in Jesus (Colossians 1:19-22). Over us all, in all season of life, is the care of Jesus. More over, God dwells in us all by his Holy Spirit to care and encourage us, too (John 16:7–15).

Framing our understanding of care this way is hugely helpful. It means, all the days of our life, Jesus is caring for us, bringing to completing the good work he started at our salvation (Philippians 1:6), forming and shaping us by his Spirit and among his people. It means he provides for us, as the Good Shepherd and gives all we need to live a Godly life (2 Peter 1:3).

Here’s how we are outworking this in our gathering:

Draft Care Diagram

We recognise that Jesus is the chief shepherd of his people and that he is the one to give pastoral care. His care leads us towards life though the gospel.

Our desire to care for someone springs from our own response to the gospel as we encourage others and lead them towards Jesus.

Our typical care structures are about the whole body of Jesus working together to one another in a variety of settings. Regular attendance at our Sunday gathering and a Community Group are two ways we encourage all people to care and be cared for.

We also recognise that extra care is needed from time to time: extended sickness, grief and loss, emergencies, mental health challenges, some circumstances mean our usual ways of seeking to pastorally care are rendered ineffective, etc. In those instances our regular care structure of Community Groups, One Another and Staff may need support.

We also encourage professional care for our well-being, too. We recognise that we are not professionals. We aren’t trying to be. We value professional care and it’s encouraged at moments in our life when we need it.