A growing number of denominations require pastors to receive mentoring and supervision to fulfil requirements for continued accreditation or professional development. However resources for the provision of such services are frequently limited.
Through Care Packages Pastors, Christian Teachers and Christian workers are assigned an experienced mentor for a period of 12 months. Mentoring sessions seek to provide a balance of accountability, encouragement and challenge for those who serve at the coalface of ministry. Topics covered include spiritual & physical health, relationships with family, church leaders and colleagues, time management, pastoral boundaries and conflict management. Care Packages also provide a one hour training session for church/school leaders with the goal of promoting healthy partnerships between leaders and staff in their care.
Those in receipt of a Care Package are entitled to discounts for Alongside Ministries training seminars and resources. Recipients also receive an information booklet which lists recommended Christian counsellors and a list of Christian doctors who are willing to provide bulk-billed medical check-ups.
Care Packages are established through a formal application and payment of an annual fee. Funding is normally provided by the church or Christian organisation but individuals may choose to provide their own funding. The current fee is $500 + GST for one year. This provides for 8 or 9 one hour sessions + a leader training seminar + additional sessions that may be required during “difficult” periods of life and ministry.