Organizing caring committees for small congregations

Small congregations often struggle to develop an effective caring committee or caring group. There’s the usual problem of too few volunteers, for one thing. But some congregations have found ways to respond to caring without developing the large caring structures that bigger congregations might have.

Here are several articles from InterConnections that look at the caring needs of smaller congregations and how to address them:

Beyond Casseroles: Caring Committees That Work

A Three-Person Membership Committee for Small Congregations

Membership Job Description (including Caring Committee functions)

‘Remembership’ Calls Help Keep Track of Members

Among the tips offered in these articles: Consider the entire congregation part of the caring team. Let people know you’ll be calling on them when a need arises. Remember that most people are generally happy to do a specific caring task, such as delivering a meal or giving a ride, if asked. We probably don’t ask people to do things for others enough. This way even if there is only one person interested in being “on” a caring committee, that person can keep track of caring needs and then call on others to do the actual caring tasks. This works best if that person is skilled at delegating.

 

 

CLF resources for small congregations

Lay-led congregations seeking to stretch their budgets might consider a group membership in the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s Church OnLine program.

For an annual fee of $299 a congregation can access worship and religious education resources online. Congregations may enroll at any time.

Worship resources include sermons and a children’s story and suggested discussion questions. RE resources include RE Express Plus, a special program for small RE programs.

CLF also has an email list, CLF Starting Small, for leaders of small congregations. More information is available on the CLF website.

Letter: Small congregation website costs little

Regarding your article about the UU Church in Arlington, Va., (Arlington Website Creates Stronger Connections) spending $1,000 a year doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but for small congregations like ours at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco, Tex., $1,000 is a big deal.

There’s never a need to spend hundreds of dollars to effectively reach visitors and communicate with members. For us, we can get the same level of interactivity—video, audio, forums—by doing the content management work ourselves for about $80 per year. No contracts. No downtime. No ads. No extra charges. Ever. If you don’t know how, I’m happy to share the knowledge for free.

Rob Cervantes, Tech Advisor