John 13:34-35 reads, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” It’s crazy to think that we can be recognized as followers of Jesus just by the way we love the people around us. While there are many ways we can show love, what does love look like in a practical sense?
Throughout scripture, when someone is in need, God often sends another person with divine resources to meet that need. At VOUS, we have a Care Response Team. One of our values is that people are our heart — the Care Response Team is this value in action. We aim to mobilize our church to meet the needs of those in our church community. Whether it’s a moment to celebrate, or a physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual crisis, we are ready to offer support.
This team is available to respond to many different care requests that could arise:
- Celebratory Circumstances: birth of a child, marriage, new foster child
- Medical Need: surgery, hospitalization
- Loss: funeral, miscarriage, tragic death
- Disaster/Accidental: house fires, accident, natural disaster
- Family/Marriage: domestic dispute, abuse, divorce, child care needs
- Mental: suicidal, depression, anxiety
- Change of income: loss of job
When our team leaders or Crew leaders hear of someone in need, they are encouraged to first pray, then fill out the Care Response Form, and then review the Resource Guide. The Care Response Form alerts our team that there’s a need in our community, and the Resource Guide is full of local organizations that are equipped to assist. Our Care Response Team will respond in one of four ways:
Care Response #1
This response is designed to meet medical needs or care for people who are experiencing a recent loss. When this need arises, we’ll schedule a pastoral visit, send flowers, plan recovery meals, and help provide funeral or memorial support if needed.
Care Response #2
For those experiencing a life event due to an accident, disaster, or change of income, we respond with a pastoral follow-up or visit, financial assistance, or material assistance.
Care Response #3
This response focuses on family needs, marital issues, abuse, child care needs, and mental support. In any of these instances, we respond with a pastoral follow-up or visit, local resources, therapy resources, and VOUS Care Crew recommendations specifically focused on freedom and family.
Care Response #4
This last response celebrates marriages, births, and new foster or adopted children. For marriages, we send 31 Prayers for my Husband/Wife. For a new baby, we send a VOUSborn box along with hot meals or groceries and a book resource. For families welcoming a new foster or adopted child, we send a thank you card to the parents, a parenting book, and an age-appropriate gift.
No matter the seasons we walk through, we believe that God has a plan for each of us. No journey is meant to be walked alone, and we want to do our part in resourcing our community with appropriate next steps. In addition to prayer assistance, we put together a resource guide so we can resource people with other local organizations. Based on the need, the resource guide is broken into sections.
1. VOUS Care Crews
We’ve developed an ongoing collection of classes that can help people navigate through life’s seasons to find freedom and walk in the path God has planned.
No matter how tough the season is, we are never alone. We believe local counseling resources from our community will be able to assist and meet people right where they are.
3. Children and Families
Not only do we care about people’s eternities, we care about their realities. No matter what families are going through, we partner with local organizations that offer counseling services, crisis intervention, pregnancy services, and support groups. They are a trusted resource for any traumatic events that have impacted people and their loved ones.
4. After School Programs
Children are our future. We want to make sure they receive the tools they need to become our leaders of tomorrow. There are tools available to assist the next generation.
5. Public Assistance: Food and Housing
There are many local organizations that are dedicated to giving a meal and shelter to anyone in need. We provide a list of soup kitchens, food banks, and emergency food or housing services to help in times of crisis.
6. Job Placement
Everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed. We partner with community organizations that are available to help people overcome barriers that make it difficult to secure employment. Through career training, skill building, employment workshops, and much more, we can assist those who are looking for a job.
Whether it’s abuse, domestic violence, homelessness, or suicide, we want you to be safe and connected to trusted resources.
We never know what lies ahead of us, and it’s an honor to partner with God as he cares for his people.