This month we share our latest list of member care materials to support good practice. The list spans 40 years and includes over 100 books! The first part gives a quick overview of materials, primarily books in English, organized into 10 areas (Getting Updated). The second part invites you to make adjustments and additions to this list to make it even more relevant and includes 15 more sources for materials (Staying Updated). We close this Update with some personal words on developing three essential qualities for good practice in member care: character, competencies, and compassion.
Warm greetings from Geneva,
Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell
The mission of God flows from the love of God.
The mission of God's people flows from our love for God and for all that God loves.
Lausanne Cape Town Commitment, 2011
Member care continues to grow as a field and as a global movement. One indication of this growth is the steady stream of materials that have been developed to promote wellbeing/effectiveness for the diversity of member care workers and their organisations. We have put together an updated compilation of 100+ materials, primarily books in English written for the mission and humanitarian sectors. This list includes many selections (classic through current) that can be part of a core member care library. The materials are organized into 10 categories which often overlap and with the understanding that many of the materials actually fit in more than one category. The list is on our website:
10 MC Areas
*Pastoral and Spiritual Growth
*Physical and Medical Care
*Career Issues and Reentry
*Team Building, Interpersonal Relationships, and Partnerships
*Families, Couples, TCKs, and Singles
*Finances, Accountability, Ethics, and Organizations
*Stress, Trauma, Crises, and Contingency Management
*Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting
*Member Care Compilations and Overviews
*Resources from the Humanitarian, Development, and Health Sectors
Can you help?! The list of 100+ member care books, although extensive, is by no means complete. Please contact us with any additions, links, or corrections in order to help keep this list current and accurate (firstname.lastname@example.org). The list is on our website: http://membercareassociates.org/?page_id=606
15 More Sources for MC Materials:
A Personal Word from Kelly and Michèle
Character, competence, and compassion are necessary for good practice in member care. These “three C’s” are both qualities for member care workers (MCWs) to develop and qualifications for MCWs to demonstrate. The same goes for any person with member care responsibility or who is in a caregiver role.
Character refers to moral virtue, emotional stability, and overall maturity. Basically, the qualifications for leaders in I Tim. 3 and Titus 1 reflect the types of character traits needed for MCWs (e.g., being: above reproach, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, managing one’s household well, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, etc.). Those in member care ministry have positions of trust and responsibility, and work with people who are often in a vulnerable place. Therefore they need to model godly characteristics as they minister responsibly—to protect/provide for those who receive their services.
Competence refers to having the necessary skills to help well (via life experience and training). We have found that competence is not necessarily based on degrees or certification, although the systematic training that is required to get these “validations” is a very important consideration. Others without such institutional validation are also capable of doing member care well (usually via more supportive than specialized care), and indeed in many places they are the primary service providers (e.g., peers, team leaders). Note that MCWs, like others in the health care fields, can be “stretched” at times to work in ways that may go beyond their skill level. And many services can be in ambiguous, complex, and difficult settings, with the outcomes (positive or negative) not easy to predict. Note also that certification as a “professional” and skill sets useful in one country may not be relevant in other locations. Caution and consultation with others are needed in such cases.
Compassion refers to our core motivation for member care work. It is the love of Christ that compels us. We value people and we provide our services to people because of their inherent worth, and not just because of their “important” work. Likewise experiencing a sense a fulfillment in our member care work, although desirable and an honorable motive, is not the primary reason for why we do what we do. Our motives for providing member care are often refined by the many challenges that ripple through our lives and work—especially disappointments via such experiences as minimal recognition, minimal compensation, and/or minimal opportunities within one’s “career trajectory.”
Adapted from Pursuing Trans-Cultural Ethics (chapter 10), Global Member Care (Volume 1): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011, pages 167-169; https://sites.google.com/site/globalmca/)
More MCA Resources
Global Portal for Good Practice (website)
Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice (weblog)
Global Mental Health: A Global Map for a Global Movement (website)
Global Integration: Connecting and Contributing (overview materials)