When I was serving as Lead Pastor at the Landisville Church of God, each of our ministry staff members–myself, Associate Pastor, Youth Pastor, Children’s Director had a care team. This was the description we developed:
THE PURPOSE OF A CARE TEAM
The Eastern Regional Conference encourages the church to provide a care team for each of its ministry staff. At the Church of God of Landisville we provide this to any person who essentially serves a pastoral function.
The Care Team is chosen by the staff person in consultation with the elders. It is hoped that the team and its minister will meet several times per year. Normally, the minister calls their Care Team for a meeting.
The chief purpose of the Care Team is to provide “safe persons” to assist the minister to function in a healthy manner—spiritually, physically, emotionally and relationally. This is done by the minister sharing with the team questions, feelings, personal concerns, frustrations and joys to receive feedback and encouragement.
The Care Team does not work for the church. They work for the minister. They are to be concerned primarily with what is best for the minister, not what is best for the church. Their work is done in complete confidence. They are only permitted to share information with the elders if they deem it advisable with the consent of the minister. The exception is when they believe that the minister is doing something that would be harmful to themselves or to the church, and have not responded to the counsel of their Care Team.
The minister often has a mentor, who is from outside the church—another professional to help them think professionally. They may have an accountability or partners, who like any accountability partners are spiritual peers. The minister works for the elders and for a commission, who are responsible to evaluate and direct job performance.
The care team essentially is a clarity team to help through listening, encouragement, counsel and prayer as the minister seeks to be the person God desires them to be. They are significant friends with whom the minister is free to be transparent knowing the team will be “on their side, if not always right on their side.”