Why is it vital for leaders to care for those they lead? How can churches develop effective care ministries that don’t burn out their leaders? 

Laura Howe

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In this episode, I talk with guest Laura Howe about the importance of care ministries in churches. You’ll find out why a care ministry shouldn’t be solely dependent upon the pastor, how meeting people’s needs impacts Kingdom growth, and signs that it’s time to start or strengthen your church’s care ministry.

Whether or not you lead in a church setting, you’ll find valuable insights into leadership and the value of caring for the needs of others as Christians. To hear more about burnout, compassion fatigue, and mental health in ministry, check out episode 81 when Laura was on the podcast the first time.

Key Points Discussed:

  • What is a care ministry? [2:34]
  • Building an effective care ministry in a church [5:31]
  • How care ministry differs from discipleship or small groups [12:29]
  • The people you need for a care ministry [15:15]
    • Professionals
    • Pastors
    • Peers
  • How to determine if a care ministry is not working [23:48]
  • The first steps for a church if they want to establish (or refine) their care ministry [27:27]
  • Leaders are learners [36:50]
  • Fun question

Key Quotes from the Episode:

“A care ministry needs to be as diverse as the people it serves.”

“A thriving care ministry isn’t dependent solely on the pastor.”

“Pastoral care and that lens of Biblical counsel is a very valuable and needed and necessary part [of a care ministry].”

“If we are meeting people where they’re at… it encourages the growth of the Kingdom. Your church will grow–people will be saved, people will hear about Jesus–because when people find freedom, they can’t help but tell others.”

“By caring for people, you are actually spreading the gospel and the grace and the love and the freedom of Christ.”

“Professional, pastoral and peers–they’re all valuable; they all bring a different approach to caregiving.”

“If you are a leader in a church and you’re feeling weary, or resentful, or numb to people’s struggles, then that might be a sign that it would be helpful to develop [a care ministry].”

“There are people who have needs that are quiet, and they might not be standing out.”

“[Care ministry] is not just a program; this is actually part of the building the kingdom of God that I think is really, really important.”

Connect with Laura Howe:

Laura Howe loves to equip you and your ministry team as you support and care for others in your community.

Founder of Hope Made Strong and the Church Mental Health Summit with over 15 years of experience as a registered social worker focused on mental health and addictions, Laura combines her skills with a passion for equipping and strengthening faith leaders.  Her online courses and in-person presentations create conversations that lead to hope, strength, and resilience in leadership.

Laura equips staff and volunteer leaders with practical, scripturally-based strategies that will strengthen you and your ministry team as you support and care for others in your community.

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