Applying the informal to formal continuum to discipleship we can see the various discipling relationships and activities organized.

Informal

· Every Week

· Preventative & Formational

· Normal Levels of Life Intensity

· Corporate Worship

· Sunday School/Group Study

· Small Group/Recovery Group

· Discipleship Reading

Semi-Formal

· Infrequent

· Situational

· Increased Intensity

· 1-1 Mentoring/Discipleship

· Lay Counseling

· Pastoral Care Team

· Pastoral Counseling

Formal

· May Never Occur

· Crisis or Transition

· Overwhelming Intensity

· Professional Counselor

· Spiritual Director

· Life Coach

· Psychiatrist/Medications

· Intensive Outpatient

· Inpatient/Hospitalization

Those who serve in a formal capacity don’t replace the frontline vital support and influence of those who serve in a semi-formal or informal way. Eighty percent (80%) of needs are met in these informal or semi-formal relationships. One of the most important things we can do as ministers, lay-caregivers, or even just friends, is to help those we love and serve to identify when it would be wise to seek out formal help from another professional, and then to assist them in the process of scheduling their first meeting.

A model which can be helpful to think about this process of helping one of our congregants, disciples, and ministry members engage their own formation in a formal way is the CARE model.


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