The fact that one out of three is touched by cancer is an alarming statistic. It is highly unusual to have someone who has not been touched by cancer in this day and age. That person is likely someone you know, a loved one, a friend or it may be you.
Team Up! Against Cancer is a ministry designed for cancer survivors, their families and their friends to band together as a group and reach out to support existing and newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families.
We have learned that not only does the patient go through a very difficult time but the family of the patient also experiences a trying time except it’s from a different perspective.
Our concept is to first let the patient know they are not alone. We team up a patient with a someone of the same gender and approximate age, someone who has survived the same type of cancer as they have, someone who has “been there and done that.” We also team the patient’s family members with the family members of the cancer survivor. Sort of a sounding board or just to handle specific questions with a “here what we did” or here’s is how we handled that issue.”
We also recommend recruiting friends within the church to assist and support both the patients and survivors of the ministry. Non cancer persons can be part of the research, material and prayer teams. There is a place for everyone in your Team Up ministry.
To start your ministry you must first meet with your Pastor and seek his/her approval. This ministry is not only for those touched by cancer in your local church but for those in your community as well.
We recommend a cancer survivor from the church be selected to be the Team Up ministry coordinator. This person likely will be moved to serve as your Team Up leader. Next select your team s by reaching out into the church membership for volunteers to serve on each team.
Your Team Up! Coordinator’s package contains the sources for materials for the Patient Packet, the Family Packet and the Survivor Packet. All materials contained within those two packages is available free of any costs to your Team Up ministry. Also in the package is a sample advertisement for the local paper or the church bulletin.
If your church has a prayer ministry we recommend the scheduled meeting of the Team Up ministry be just prior to the prayer meeting as new patients and members of the ministry can take their guest directly into a healing session of prayer.
Seek volunteers to help put together the Packets and offer them at the church to survivors, patients and their respective families. Make them aware of your presence.
If cancer survivors really want to take a bold step, go to the doctors who treated them, and indicate your willingness to “give back” that you would like to be there for someone who is going through the same experience as you did. Sometimes this approach is met with a high degree of acceptance by the doctors and sometimes it can be difficult.
To get started, we recommend you select someone within the church who’s heart is touched by the mission statement of the Team Up to lead the ministry. That person will probably be a cancer survivor himself or herself. Once that person accepts the responsibility as the Lead Coordinator of the Team Up ministry he or she will be ready to begin the selection of others who have a heart to help cancer patients and their families.
We believe it important that you have a Prayer Team – Many churches already have a prayer group or team in place with whom you could coordinate prayer requests as well as the Team Up! prayer organization around the world.
We recommend having either weekly, bi-monthly or monthly meetings depending upon the membership needs of your ministry but in any case if there is a prayer group or team in place at your church then having the Team Up meeting just prior to the prayer group meeting allows for a natural transition into prayer for the patient, their family and friends.