A quick survey of Acts 2–4 reveals an important priority in the early local church—meeting one another’s needs. We also learn this principle from Paul’s analogy of the church to the human body (1 Corinthians 12). Galatians 6:2 drives home the point with the simple statement, “Bear ye one another’s burdens….”
A growing church will discover the necessity of a network of people to meet needs within the congregation. At some point, the church becomes too large for the pastor or a select few to successfully meet most needs. (This was the case in Acts 6.)
Many churches like ours have turned to the Sunday school as an organized network for meeting members’ needs. There are three reasons for this: the structure already exists, the people in the classes already know one another, and those called on to help are likely in the same age group as the people they’re serving.
Care groups are smaller groups within each adult class, organized to help this network of servants. What makes up an effective care group?
Care group leaders must have a genuine interest in others, a thoughtful disposition, and a servant’s heart. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and look for these important characteristics when selecting a care group leader for your class.
A care group consists of five to seven adults or couples. This is a manageable size for a volunteer leader. In a small or new class, one care group led by the teacher is sufficient while the class grows.
As visitors are enrolled into the class, the teacher should assign them to a care group and introduce the care group leader to the new member.
Care group leaders should pray for those on their list and write them periodically. They should also initiate times of fellowship with their groups at a restaurant or in their own home.
Care group leaders help to remind their groups of upcoming class activities and church-wide events. They also may check on class members when they miss a Sunday.
You will never run out of opportunities to meet needs, whether it is making a phone call to an absentee or staying up all night with someone in the hospital. Stay committed to meeting needs in your church through the power and love of Christ.