Caring for New Members (Romans 12, Issue 279)
Issue 279 — April 28, 2016
Caring for New Members
The Korean United Methodist Church of South Suburban Chicago has been working to create an effective program for caring for and nurturing new members. The church developed a practical system for training lay leaders as the pastor's co-workers. Lay elder-stewards and exhorting-stewards join the caring and nurturing ministries. In the tradition of the Korean Methodist Church, most Korean United Methodist churches maintain lay positions, such as elders, exhorters, deacons, and class leaders. The South Suburban Chicago UMC advances these positions as a way of growing the church and caring for the members.
The lay elders and exhorters gather together every month on the first Wednesday evening, and they learn basic skills in Christian mentoring and counseling. The learning sessions include information about lay leadership in the local church, understanding personality types, transactional analysis, family counseling, and non-violent communication. They also learn about relationships and behavior, organizational and personal development, and communications. Through this mentoring training, they are equipped to approach people with an understanding heart.
Lay leaders in this mentoring class have applied their new skills in small-group Bible studies and in one-on-one encounters with new members.
Today, the South Suburban Chicago UMC is gaining members because of these lay leaders who help to mentor, counsel, and care for the members of the church.
- Korean ministry resources from Discipleship Ministries
- Korean Lay Training Manual — Elder (Cokesbury)
- Korean Lay Training Manual — Exhorter (Cokesbury)
- Ministry of Relationship: Conflict Management (Korean) (Cokesbury)
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- The pastor may get exhausted and burnt out easily due to the heavy load of the church’s ministries. How could your congregation get more involved in caregiving ministry?
- What opportunity does your church provide its members to grow and engage in caring ministries?
- How does your congregation build the ministry of the laity?
Produced by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church to communicate effective principles and practices demonstrated by congregations that are actively making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
These congregations are marked by:
- Clarity around the mission and vision of the congregation.
- Practice of spiritual disciplines, both corporately and individually.
- Nurture in growth in discipleship through mutual support and accountability.
- Cultivation of intentional and mutual relationships with the most vulnerable—the poor, children, the imprisoned, the powerless.
- Consistent concern for inviting people into relationship with Jesus Christ, combined with wise practices for initiating them into the body of Christ.
- Connectional relationships that facilitate participation in God’s mission of global transformation.
- Shared clergy and lay leadership.
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