Doctor of Ministry

Year Approved


First Advisor

Matteson, Jeffrey


As a church of over 4000 attenders, Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan was in need of a system and structure that would provide care for all who were in need. This project developed a system of care based on the biblical principles of care and community. This newly designed care structure infused care into community groups by mobilizing the people of Calvary to care for one another rather than solely relying on the Pastoral Care Department to accomplish the care. This project addressed the problem that exists for a Pastoral Care Department in a large church (4,000+) to care for the needs of an entire congregation. In response to this problem the researcher engaged in five major components. First, the researcher studied the biblical and theological natures of both care and community with a view to proposing an interconnected relationship between the two. Second, he reviewed the relevant literature dealing with care and community. Third, the researcher identified and studied examples of large churches and their use of small groups to facilitate care. The two churches researched were Ada Bible Church in Ada, Michigan and North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Fourth, transferable principles were identified to guide Calvary Church in using small groups to facilitate care. Fifth, this project culminated in a strategy for using small groups to facilitate care. The implementation of this project at Calvary Church included structures, training, communication and record-keeping.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Document Type

Doctoral thesis