Ryan and I are both natural caregivers. However, we recognize that caring is hard work and if we learn more, we could care better. So in order to hone our caregiving skills, we are taking a course together. This course focuses on Christian caregiving and we are hoping that it will be foundational for our future ministry. For those of you familiar with Stephen’s Ministry, this course is offered by our church as a starting place for those interested in participating in active Stephen’s Ministry.
We are learning how to listen well, ask questions and care for the whole person. The assigned reading from Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life by Kenneth C. Haugk, is read before each meeting and then we discuss and practice the material. This book has many great examples as well as very practical advice. However, I think learning the material best happens when in a situation where you can, at the very least, discuss the information. Although, it is difficult to “practice” what a conversation would be like in some of these situations, it is very helpful to have a safe space to ask questions, make mistakes and practice caring better for people. Ryan and I are really enjoying the class based off this book.
A criticism of this book is that it is written from a distinctly Christian perspective and therefore limits who can use and benefit from it. I would agree that as a caregiver, a Christian would most benefit from the perspective and foundation of the book. However, I strongly believe that for Ryan and I, we will be able to use this information no matter who we are caring for. The caring will naturally be Christian because we are Christian but the same principles definitely apply no matter who we’re working with or caring for.
I would definitely recommend this book and a course that uses this book to anyone who wants to learn how to care for people around them in a more loving and effective way.