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Compassionate Ministry within

the Church

Compassionate ministry is a vital area of the church that is

lacking in ways. Sometimes, we focus on outreach
neglecting those closest to us. Our people within the church
– our members, regular attendees – need to feel they are
cared for in the midst of all the business of reaching out
beyond them. I will be sharing with you some ideas for
helping foster compassionate ministry within the church in
order to take care good of your people. These are ideas that
have been proven and have been successful in my ministry
or observation.


1. Designate a leader for your ministry in

compassionate ministry.
2. Team. Build a team in recruiting those who are
interested in working with this ministry.
3. Organization. The leader must be someone who is
organized, can follow through with making sure jobs
are completed, and who is able to work well with
other people. They do NOT do all the work.
4. Attendance. Create a roster for your church of all the
people who attend. Send out a questionnaire to the
congregation that will include: names, addresses,
birthdays of children and youth, and anniversaries if
both spouses are living. Ask your people to fill out the
form so the church can minister to them. Microsoft
Excel is a good program in which to create this list. At
the top of the rooster, put dates for each Sunday – for
one whole month. Save and change and print out as
this will be used every Sunday. Dates can be changed
to print out a new roster for the following month.
5. Assignments. Assign or recruit individuals who will
commit to sending out the birthday cards (adults,
children, and youth), anniversary cards, miss you and
sick cards. Have one person do only one of these
above. – either (1) birthdays for all ages; (2)
Anniversary or (3). Miss your and sick cards. Only
one card is sent per month for those who are sick or
absent. Too many cards will lose effectiveness.
6. Give a copy of your roster (made using Excel) to each
of these people who sign up to send out cards for
either (1) Birthday for all ages; (2) Anniversary; or (3)
Miss you and sick cards. These people can keep a
record of their activity, and a check list as they do it.
Have them submit to you once a month. Give them a
new update list each month as new people arrive, and
some will leave the church. In order to be effective,
people need accountability.
7. Birthday Card. Write a personal note inside each
card. Place a $1.00 McDonalds certificate along with
the cards for the kids. It will not be too costly to do
8. Designate. Assign people in the congregation sections
in the church to write down what names they notice
missing on each Sunday, They will submit this list to
the person in charge of dong the card for absentees
(sick or whatever reason they do not come).
Remember, these types of cards are only sent out once
a month. Too many cards will lose effectiveness.


1. Be there on time. It is important that visitors have

someone to greet them when the walk into your
church doors. Everyone does not enjoy walking into a
new church for the first time alone. They may not
2. Don’t be pushy. Be friendly without smothering
guest. Give them a card to fill out to place in the
offering plate later if they are willing to do this. Do
not push the issue. Ask for permission to give it to
them. Better yet, even provide them a packet with the
church bulletin, visitor card, ink pen (church name,
address, telephone number and web site on it), and a
newsletter for the month enclosed. Place visitor cards
in the pews. Hopefully, users will keep up on this, and
the pastor will bring to attention when visitors are
present. This card can always be place in the offering
3. Greet with a smile. A smile can go a long ways to
someone who has had a bad morning or facing a
difficult situation.
4. Leave the building. If necessary, do outside to greet
those who may need an umbrella. Someone is bound
to not have one in their car or got caught in the rain on
the way to church. I visited a church one time, and
was ushered in with an umbrella as it misted outside.
What service! Stand outside the church door so people
see a friendly face when they arrive.
5. Use different ages. Greeters should be young and old.
You do not want all elderly people to greet your
newcomers, as this can send the wrong message that
they do not belong or that your church does not meet
the needs of the younger generation. Use youth, young
married couples as well as the elderly.
6. Be informed. Know what class they should go to and
direct them. Do not leave them to wander around or
standing alone. Direct mothers to the nursery.
7. Final Greetings. Make sure someone is near the exit
door as prayer is being said to catch those who exit
hardly before the Amen”. Make your people feel
important that you care, are noticed when they leave.
You will probably not see them until next Sunday.


1. Church Directory. Using your information from the

Excel spreadsheet of information already accumulated,
put together a church directory. Put each page in a 3-
ring notebook with a cover page (one page per
family). Take a picture of each family using your
digital camera, and download to your computer. Keep
updated! Using this type of binder makes it easier and
less costly to add and take away a page. Pages can be
made available for people to add to their books once a
quarter of all new families. These can be inserted in a
manila folder and placed in the foyer for pick-up.
2. Family Connects Family. Encourage you church
family to make connection when they notice someone
has been missing for several weeks. Encourage them
to make a phone call to say, “We missed you,
3. Spiritual Mentors. Provide mentors within the
congregation who are wise and caring to be there for
others, to call when their child has a game to wish
them success, to make them feel comfortable at church
by inclusion within the church body during Sunday
school, social functions, ect.
4. Network with other ministries. Network with the
other ministries in your church such as, “Women’s
ministry, Men’s Ministry, Missions, Children’s, and
Youth, to see what you can do to make their job
easier in making contact within the church for them.
The women’s ministry may decide to take on the
project of sending out cards to those within their
group. You can find these things out as you network
with them. They may see a need that you have

1. People need fellowship just as they need the Lord in
their life. Someone can attend church and still feel
lonely in a group of people. Don’t let this happen if
you have not made an effort to include them and listen
to them.
2. Once a Month. Once a month (maybe the last Sunday
of the month) have a Sunday evening fellowship. This
may be as simple as cookies and drink to finger food
or carry in food. This can be done and assigned to a
different ministry each month. One month let the men
serve and provide. Another month the women, the
next month let the kids make ice-cream cones or
sundaes. These are just some ideas.
3. Muffins for Mom. Provide chocolate chip, blueberry,
and banana muffins along with orange juice, coffee, or
milk for on Mother’s Day. Take pictures of moms and
their daughters and post these in the service. Give each
mother and daughter a picture to keep as a reminder of
this special time together. Provide three pots of
flowers for a drawing. Give to the three mothers
whose names are drawn at the end of the breakfast.
You can also present the winners their gift at the
beginning of the worship service if you have the
breakfast prior to the worship. Tables can be decorated
using colorful flowers – potted fresh flowers if
possible to send home with the mothers.
4. Donuts for Dad. Celebrate Father’s Day with glazed
donuts and coffee. Place out three basket of gifts for a
drawing in which the dads may sign up for. At the end
of the breakfast, have a drawing for the three baskets.
Present to the three dads. You can also present the
gifts to the dads at the beginning of the worship
service if you have the breakfast prior to the worship
service. Place items such as shaving cream, soap,
comb, socks, toothbrush, ruler, breath mints, and a
flashlight in each basket. Decorate tables with baseball
hats, golf balls, and m & m’s.
5. Grandparent’s Day. This is a special occasion in
honor our grandparents. They have lived long lives
and have served the church, their families, and others
for many years. Let them know you appreciate them.
Provide an Old Fashioned breakfast for them. Show
PowerPoint’s slides of things the kids have said about
them. Show slides of pictures of the grandparents with
their grandchildren. Give the grandmother with the
most children present at the meal a gift certificate to
Bob Evans or some other restaurant.
6. Valentine’s Day. Invited all the young and older
married couples to this occasion. Decorate especially
using red tablecloths and decorations. Put on soft
music or hire someone to come in and play for them.
Use candlelight. Play games that include romantic
topics appropriate for church. Put on a skit for them.
Serve this dinner in courses, making it really special.
7. Sunday school Picnic. Have a church Sunday School
picnic once a year. Everyone can bring pop luck
dishes and play baseball. Set up Crochet and bad
mitten. Have a contest to see which class can have the
most in attendance. Give the class a free pizza party at
a future date agreed upon.
8. Christmas Banquet. Some churches may have a
Christmas banquet at a restaurant and this is nice.
However, it will exclude those who do not have the
financial resources to afford this, or who depend on
public or private transpiration. A carry–in dinner held
at the church may work better to include all


1. Pastor/Staff Appreciation Dinner. Once a year

pastors are normally recognized publicly in the
church. Our Pastors work diligently day after day and
Sunday after Sunday in preparation that you will
experience a good worship. Call them forward along
with their spouse and share what it is that they do.
These people do not make huge salaries and even if
they did, an appreciation expressed in honor of them is
in order. Have a church dinner. It is nice to prepare a
basket for each pastor of the congregation so the
people can place cards for them to take home and read
later. Some may choose to add a gift card or check
enclosed in the appreciation card. That is a bonus. I
have found it most meaningful to read the messages
that people have written to me in the cards. Some I
read over again.
2. Volunteer Worker’s Sunday. Read all the
REGULAR volunteers of the church for the year. This
will include Sunday school teachers, bus drivers,
church secretary, greeters, card ministry, ushers,
janitor and any other that volunteer on a regular basis
who volunteer. Give them a certificate and a gift card
of $5-10.00 to the Christian Book Store or a Gas Card.
People need to know that what they are doing is
3. Recognize all workers. Be sure that recognition is
given of all workers for VBS, Programs of any kind,
someone who paints the church bathroom, plants
flowers, and any other work done for the church that is
not on a regular basis. Acknowledge this by a personal
thank you, or place in the weekly church bulletin
board. Try not to forget anyone. Work with other
ministries to avoid making this mistake.


1. Old Weekly Bulletins. Place the past weekly bulletins

in the foyer rather than throw away. People who miss
may like to read what happened the week they were on
vacation or sick.
2. Shut-ins. Mail those who are shut-in a copy of the
monthly newsletter of the church. Take them a weekly
bulletin if someone will be visiting them- hopefully
you have a visitation pastor for this. If not, take this
into consideration.
3. CDs. If you have the technology and equipment tape
the pastor’s sermons and special music to deliver to
those who are shut-in on a weekly basis. This will give
take church to their home, and give them something in
which to look forward. Spiritual nourishment is vital
to shut-ins. Satan fights them hard with
discouragement and loneliness.
4. Church Bulletin Boards. Provide a couple large
bulletins on the church entrance (foyer) that are
decorated in good taste. Place all news and events that
are up coming in the church.
5. Missions Bulletin Board. Provide a bulletin board for
missions to post the missionary events and those
whom you are supporting. Place addresses of
missionaries so your congregation can write to them or
send birthday cards to the family members. Print a
picture from the mission web site to post. Refrain from
allowing anyone to hand and post as they desire. This
should be monitored by a designated person or
6. Appearance is Important. PLEASE….on bulletin
boards – do not leave up old material that is outdated
or when events are over. Please make these attractive
and change the borders, backgrounds to entice
someone to walk over to take a look at what is
“NEW”. If you keep your congregation informed,
things will run smoother. Your busy people can plan
in advance marking their calendars. If you need to
repost print out a different color of paper.
7. If you have other ideas that have worked for your
church, please feel free to send to me so I can add to
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