Instructions For Support Groups And Outreach Ministries In Ladies Ministry
Lifters is a support ministry through which women who have had breast cancer support current breast cancer patients and their families. We are available to ladies who have discovered a breast lump and need to talk. We answer questions pertaining to breast cancer and breast disease. An Uplifter will talk with anyone from our church as well as the community. We meet only as needed. On occasion, Uplifters will eat lunch together. At this time, we support each other through our friendships and our prayers. This is a very special group to each of us who are directly involved. Anyone who has had breast cancer and who desires to serve others is welcome to join.
Areas of outreach are:
1. One-on-one support ministry described above.
2. CanSupport: A cancer support group for women who have experienced cancer. This group is open to ladies from our church and our community. Can-Support meets monthly on the second Tuesday during lunch at 12:15 P.M. till everyone leaves. The ladies bring a sack lunch to eat, talk, and pray for each other and others who are unable to attend. CanSupport chose to meet during the lunch hour so that those who work can attend.
3. Yearly Screening Mammography: A local hospital-based mammography mobile unit comes to campus at Northwest Bible Church during our Women’s Ministries Tuesday morning and Wednesday night sessions. Mammograms done through this mobile unit cost less than through a private physician and are more convenient.
4. Caring and Sharing: Women-to-Women Uplifters offered this class one year during the Tuesday morning Women’s Ministries electives. Our purpose was to learn appropriate caring and sharing techniques for difficult circumstances. These biblically based principles were taught by women who had experienced various difficulties. Some of the subjects discussed were coping with elderly parents, helping the chronically ill person, and the death of a loved one.
5. Uplifters will assist any church starting its own group. Please ask us.
RESOURCES FOR UPLIFTERS
Mom Is Very Sick: Here’s How to Help, by Wendy Bergren
My Child Is Very Sick: Here’s How to Help, by Sissy Gaes
Order from Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995.
When the Doctor Says It’s Cancer, by Mary Beth Moster. Available from local book stores or Tyndale House Publishers.
God’s Faithfulness in Trials and Testings, by Sandy Edmonson. Order from Missionary Crusader International, 2451 34th St., Lubbock, TX 79411-1635.
Then the Sun Came Up, by Helen Palston Tucker. Star Books, Inc., 408 Pearson St., Wilson, NC 27893.
My Book for Kids with Cancer, by Jason Gaes. Melius and Peterson Publishing, Inc., 524 Citizens Bldg., Aberdeen, SD 57401.
A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer, by Judy Asti (Chicago: Moody, 2002).
Surviving Breast Cancer; Dr. James Dobson and panel. Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995.
Healing the Hurts of Abortion
Considering that millions of babies have been aborted since abortion was legalized in the United States, there are many women and men within our churches who have been hurt by abortion. The purpose of our ministry is to become a Good Samaritan to those hurting. Through a ten-week Bible study we help them recognize how God sees abortion and recognize their need to confess their part in the abortion(s). We then show them through the Bible God’s grace and forgiveness, that God forgives them, and that they need to forgive themselves and others.
We allow these victims of abortion to give their baby(ies) identity and dignity and to grieve the loss of their babies. Throughout our class, we provide love, prayer, support, and encouragement. Each person attending our class has her own “caretaker” who ministers to her individual needs.
We use the curriculum “Healing the Hurts of Abortion,” written by Ken Freeman of Last Harvest Ministries, a pro-life ministry here in Dallas (P. 0. Box 462192, Garland, TX 75046). We announce our class at Women’s Ministries, in the adult Sunday school classes, and in the church bulletin. Also, Ken Freeman refers women to us who have called his hot-line number requesting help in dealing with the hurts of their abortion(s).
It is wonderful to see women returning to the Lord as this Bible study presents God’s truths and surrounds the people we are ministering to with God’s love.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
Goal: To encourage mothers of young children
Prayer and Sharing Outreach/Publicity
Internal Communications/Prayer Chain Nursery
Service to Others
PROGRAM CHAIRMAN AND COORDINATOR OF STEERING COMMITTEE
Plan stimulating programs, spiritual and practical
Set up room, coordinate with the scheduling secretary and the church calendar,turn in room arrangement
Introduce the speaker
Program time: 10:00-11:00
Plan transition into prayer time with prayer and sharing leader
Write a thank-you note to the speaker
PRAYER AND SHARING
Begins at 11:00
Promote informal, nonthreatening prayer and sharing
Plan creative ways for entire group to share in an effective and nurturing manner
Be available to greet members and guests at 9:15
Permanent nametags and signs
Assist with attendance records and membership roster updates:
Coordinate with prayer chain leaders
Plan informal fellowship and introduction from 9:15-10:00. Begin the program at 10:00 sharp!!
With program chairman
Plan an informal function once a year for spouses
Function as contact person for new members and visitors
Liaison with hostess to update membership rosters
Internal communications among committee members
Maintain membership roster
Have calendar, membership roster, and prayer chains available at the meetings
Organize prayer chain
Coordinate prayer chain leaders
Duties: Monthly nursery and lunch count
Maintain contact with group
Follow up absences, illnesses, needs
Activate the prayer chain as the need arises
Keep contact group roster current, add and delete names as needed
Inform membership of the functions of the prayer chain
Liaison with Women’s Ministries Board
Purpose is to inform church body of our ministry
Update announcements and information in church bulletin, church calendar,
church newsletter, and Women’s Ministries brochures
Keep informed of upcoming programs and changes
Coordinate with program director and secretary
Liaison with contact group leaders
Liaison with church nursery staff for:
Number of nursery workers needed
Number of actual reservations
Exact dates and times of meetings for the year
Nursery coordinator’s name and phone number must be on all publications;
Nursery reservations are to be stressed
Encourage participation in Women’s Ministries
Organize luncheons on Tuesdays (3) and one picnic
Organize brunches on Wednesdays with prayer chain leaders
Delegate luncheon preparations to group members
Set up food service area
Supervise cleanup of food service and meeting areas
Dallas Life Foundation: coordinate cake, cupcakes, and drink for birthday party one day a month
Visitation to New Mothers:
Coordinate with outreach/publicity in supplying visitation committee with information about our meetings
Coordinate with hostess and secretary about new mothers who may be visiting our group
Coordinate new mother visitation within moms’ group
Assist coordinator of new mother visitation ministry in keeping a current list of pregnant ladies/due date roster
Suggested-Rearing List for Twelve-Step Groups
Adult Children of Alcoholics, Janet G. Woitiz, Health Comm.; also G. K. Hall (large print)
After the Tears, Jane Middleton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell, Health Comm.
Beyond Codependency, Melody Beattie, HarperCollins
The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous
Codependent No More, Melody Beattie, Hazelden; also HarperCollins; also Walker (large type)
Cutting Loose, Howard M. Halpern, Fireside (Simon & Schuster Trade); also Bantam (1989 ed.)
The Dance of Anger, Harriet Goldhor Lerner, HarperCollins
Dying for a Drink, Anderson Spickard and Barbara R. Thompson, Word
Facing Codependency, Pia Mellody et al., Harper San Francisco
Getting Them Sober, vols. 1, 2, 3, Toby Rice Drews, Bridge
Grandchildren of Alcoholics, Ann Smith, Health Comm.
Healing for Damaged Emotions, David Seamands, Victor
I’ll Quit Tomorrow, Vernon E. Johnson, Harper San Francisco
Inside Out, Larry Crabb, NavPress
Intervention, Vernon E. Johnson, Johnson Inst.
Love Is a Choice, Frank B. Minirth and Paul D. Meier, Thomas Nelson
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters
Peoples’ Pharmacy, rev. ed., Joe Graedon, St. Martins
Permission to Be Precious, Pia Mellody (tapes)
The Pleasers, Kevin Leman, Dell
Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics, Hebert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden, Fireside (Simon & Schuster Trade)
Sin: Overcoming the Ultimate Deadly Addiction, Keith Miller, HarperCollins
Struggle for Intimacy, Janet Woitiz, Health Comm.
The Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Journey, Recovery (workbook)
Twelve Steps for Christians, Recovery
Women Who Love Too Much, Robin Norwood, Pocket; also Tarcher (hardback; distrib. by St. Martins)
Hospitality Volunteers for Newcomers
Thank you for volunteering to help us welcome visitors to (Northwest Bible Church). The interest visitors have in returning to (Northwest) is very often heavily influenced by their perception of our concern for them and willingness to reach out to them. A friendly telephone call during the week after their Sunday visit to (Northwest) is a very important way of saying, “You are special to us!” With this letter, I am also giving you a packet of information to help you answer any questions that may arise during your telephone conversations. I will use a rotation system for asking you to call, so you may hear from me only every month or so.
Following are a few suggestions to help you make your calls more meaningful. Remember that these are just suggestions; use your own words and feel free to add or take away from what I have listed.
Please make it a priority to call those on your list as soon as possible. Calling soon after their visit conveys that they are a priority to us and also gives us the opportunity to answer visitors’ questions when they are still clear in their minds. I will try to get the names in the mail to you the day I receive them.
Again, thank you for your willingness to help in this important ministry. Please direct questions, problems, or any positive/negative comments gathered during your phone conversation to me (name and telephone number of coordinator).
1. Begin by introducing yourself, saying that you are from (Northwest Bible Church) and asking, “Have I caught you at a time that you can talk for a few minutes?” If not, call back at a more convenient time.
2. Express appreciation for their visit; in your own way, let them know that you are glad that they joined us on Sunday, e.g., “We’re glad that you came last Sunday.”
3. All visitors are sent a letter from the pastor, and they are usually called by another staff pastor, who explains general church information and answers questions. The names that are sent to you are only those of women who live in the (Dallas) area, because our primary reason for calling is to provide additional information about Women’s Ministries and to extend an invitation to join us. Ask, “Are you aware of our Women’s Ministries Program, which provides a Bible study followed by special elective classes on Tuesday mornings or Wednesday evenings? Would you like more information about it?”
4. It is possible that a staff member may not have contacted them, so they may have additional questions about the church. Feel free to answer any questions in this area. You may ask, “Can I answer any questions about our church for you?” If the answer is “No” or “Not really,” you might proceed with a few more direct questions, e.g., “Were you able to find your way around all right?” “Do you have any questions about the Sunday school classes?” You might ask, “Did you have any trouble finding a parking place?” The Parking Posse will direct them to a special visitors’ parking area if they are aware that the person is a visitor. If they did have trouble parking, suggest that they tell a member of the Parking Posse that they are visiting, if they choose to visit again. You might also ask, “Are you aware of the Wednesday night programs for children and adults that begin with a dinner at 5:15 P.M.?”
Suggestions for Hospital Visitation
1. Please call the patient before the visit to decide on a convenient time.
2. It is not necessary to take gifts, but a pretty card, a simple flower, or inspirational reading material would be nice (Guideposts, Daily Walk, or Daily Bread). Tapes may be borrowed from the church and picked up on your next visit (Sunday’s sermon, Christian music).
3. Please don’t visit when you are feeling “down”; the patient usually needs an uplifting experience. Being a good listener is very important, as the woman you are calling on may wish to talk.
4. Make note of any special needs of the person, such as requests for Communion or a pastoral visit. Will there be a need for future visits from you when the patient goes home, or would an occasional phone call be sufficient?
5. You may wish to ask the following:
a. “Is there anything I can do for you, such as write a note or run an errand?”
b. “Is there any Bible passage that has a special meaning for you that I could read or that we could read together?” (Psalm 23; Philippians 4:6-7)
c .”May we pray before I go?” A very short prayer is fine.
6. Please keep your visits short, perhaps just 3-5 minutes, with 15 minutes the maximum, unless the patient asks that you stay longer.
7. Please telephone the coordinator after each hospital visit, so that she can keep a record of who has been seen and can pass along any special needs that the patient has.
8. If you are visiting someone who has returned home from the hospital, you might remember the casseroles available in the freezer at the church.
9. We will try to have occasional meetings of our visitation committee, so that we may share helpful suggestions with each other. Please feel free to recommend books, pamphlets, or favorite Scripture to enable all of us to be more effective witnesses for Christ.
Tutoring in an Inner-city High School
The women at Northwest Bible Church have long been involved in West Dallas, an inner-city public housing community. Women have participated in various capacities through a local church’s ministries. Most recently a concentrated effort has been made in a tutoring program for the public high school.
By meeting with the school’s principal, permission was granted enthusiastically for us to begin a tutoring program that would pair women with one or two students. Offered as one of the electives in the weekly Women’s Ministries Program, the women carpooled to the high school and met with their students for approximately thirty-five minutes. Our providing a nursery and going as an organized group enabled many more women to participate.
The students volunteered for the program and seemed to need encouragement more than heavy academic tutoring. After the students returned to their classes, each session was closed with a prayer time. The experience encouraged some women to tutor for a longer length of time on another day of the week.
God honored the commitment of the women in tremendous ways. By being faithful every week, the school officials and students knew it was God’s love that motivated the women. Special relationships were made as only God could ordain, and women who had never seen the community before became burdened for the families who lived there to experience God’s love and healing in their lives. The women saw answered prayers and a school welcoming their participation.
The only requirement is a willingness to serve God and flexibility in doing so.
The above article, “Instructions For Support Groups And Outreach Ministries In Ladies Ministry” was written by Vicki Kraft. The article was excerpted from Kraft’s book Women Mentoring Women.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”