Model for a Congregational Care Calling Plan
By Julie Wright
(Based on Peachtree Road UMC, in Atlanta, Georgia)
This congregational care calling plan developed by Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC) in Atlanta, Georgia was twofold. First, there was a combined group of clergy, staff, and volunteers who started calling shut-ins and everyone in the congregation over the age of seventy. Second, each smaller group (Bible study groups, disciple groups, Sunday school classes, choir, youth, and so on) was in touch with the people within that group. Then, Peachtree Road UMC moved to calling all members, ages 21-70, that were not in a group. The combined effort with clergy, staff, volunteers, and leaders totaled about sixty-five people helping to contact members. Below is the structure Peachtree Road UMC outlined of its networks of care. One additional note is that the calls were organized by household, not by individual, unless the individual was the only one in the household. Finally, Peachtree Road published an e-blast article to ensure that the church continues to create space for connection and care. The e-blast article note is included below.
CONGREGATIONAL CARE CALLING:
Clergy – Call all shut-in members and assist in calling members.
Clergy, Staff and Member Volunteers – Round 1, call all members who are 70+. Round 2, call all members, 21-70 who are not in a Sunday school class, choir, or small group.
Sunday School Leaders
Disciple Bible Study Facilitators
Bible Study Leader
*Each caller received a list of approximately twenty-five households to call and a script of what to say (especially if leaving a voice message). Callers reported their list(s)/calls to one staff member who organized the master list. Then the callers would indicate if or when they would like an additional list.
E-BLAST ARTICLE NOTE:
We Want to Connect with You!
Recently, we (PRUMC) have been making an effort to call or intentionally connect with each member of our congregation. We want to know how you are doing, if you or anyone you know needs prayer, and whether we can be of help to you and your family. We are grateful for the ways in which we are able to be in community during this time, and we don’t want to miss the opportunity to be in touch with you. If you have not received a call or been in conversation with your Sunday school class or small group, please contact the following staff person/ministry leader.
One result from this effort is that Peachtree Road UMC is planning to use this structure for congregational care going forward and to make intentional contact with its members two or three times a year going forward. Another result is a significant database clean up.
SAMPLE TALKING POINTS:
Hi _________________, my name is __________________ and I am calling on behalf of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church to say hello and to check on you. How are you doing? Is there anything you need? How can we as the church be praying for you during this time? We are grateful for you and pray that God’s love and peace fill you this day and in the days to come.
Hi _________________, my name is __________________, and I am calling on behalf of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church to see how you are doing and to ask if there is anything we as the church can do for you. If we can help in any way, please contact us at ________. We pray that God’s love and peace will fill you this day and in the days to come.
- Please feel free to adapt this as it more naturally fits for you.
- Remember: The main goal is to ask people how they are doing, if we can do anything to help, and how we can pray for them during this time.