care well

Every week I sit with our Care and Counseling Team to review the current people we are caring for. This is not always a short meeting. On any given week we may have as many as 60 active cases to review. A “case” is someone that we we are currently engaging in biblical counseling or are caring for in a time of crisis.

In the past we’ve just gone through a spreadsheet of current cases. Half the time we couldn’t even remember who the people were without looking at the file, and the benefit of this type of an exercise was not very apparent to me. So I reviewed why we were having this meeting in the first place. The goals were simple:

  • To make sure we are following-up with each inquiry
  • To share ideas that may be helpful to the other counselors/pastors on our team
  • To talk about hard issues that we could use advice on
  • To make decisions about next steps for those who have stalled out in our process

In order to meet these goals, I proposed the following meeting agenda for our care and counseling cases:

  1. Prayer: We take to God our requests for wisdom about current cases. This doesn’t need a long prayer time, but an intentionally time of seeking God’s face for those we are currently caring for.
  2. Placement: All new cases (that we have previously filled out forms for) are reviewed and placed with the best person on our team for that specific case.
  3. Issue Insight: We all go through our individual caseloads on the screen, but only highlight (1) problem cases that we’d like insight on, (2) cases we are collaborating with others on, or (3) tough cases that need a decision for next steps.
  4. New Revelations: We enter into a time of sharing (whomever would like to) about a recent insight biblically or practically as it relates to caring for people. This can be from a recent class, verbatim, book we’ve read, etc.
  5. Exercise Sharing: This is “Show and tell” of sorts – a time for us to share with each other about an exercise or tool we are using in counseling that can be replicated and helpful for other cases.
  6. Process Maintenance: A general “How are we doing” check-up on our process as it relates to counseling and care (forms, connection cards, scheduling, etc.).
  7. Personal Updates: A time for each of us on the team to share anything that we would personally like to share for the others to know and pray for ( because I believe “The best counselors are first great counselees”).
Now we are trying this format (or something close to it) each week. Our meetings are more effective and we walk away full, with clear directive, rather than overwhelmed and unclear about next steps.
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