XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below are the On-Call Care Procedures of Northwest Bible Church in Dallas, Texas.

We are ministering to our community by having an on-call ministry. This ministry means we value those in need who see us as a safe place to receive care.

Why a Detailed Ministry Policy?

We recognize opening our doors to the needs of the community means we will be a target of manipulators who have chosen a destructive lifestyle of deception and prey on the care and compassion of the church. Loving them means we, at the very least, attempt to expose these patterns and give them opportunity to be honest and seek personal responsibility for their lives. It does not mean we will not provide for the physical needs of the manipulator but does mean being a good steward of the resources of this ministry.

Action Plan

This procedure is for all ministers (full and part-time) and ministry directors, men and women. If you are full time, we are asking that you sign up to be the community care minister two business days a month. Part-time ministerial staff are to be available to serve at least one business day a month.

This procedure divides the ministry into three steps:

  1. Prepare to care
  2. Face-to-face
  3. Close and document the visit

Prepare to Care

  • Sign up to be the on-call minister
  • Become familiar w/Care Resources
  • Procedure checklist
  • Procedure Booklet
  • Ministry Resource Directory
  • Assistance Request Form Notebook
  • One in-house copy (at the reception desk)

The day you are scheduled to minister:

  • Let co-worker know you’re scheduled to minister for the day.
  • When the receptionist calls you to minister, tell a co-worker.
  • Review your Community Care Checklist and Resource Guide (in private).
  • Pray for your visit and your attitude.
  • Get an Assistance Request Form in the Community Care Notebook (reception desk).

Face to Face

Once you are prepared, go greet the person in need at the reception desk. The receptionist will hand them a “Community Care Ministry Purpose Statement” for them to read while they wait for you. This statement will allow you to connect them with our philosophy and boundaries for care provision immediately.

Introduce Yourself

  • Invite them to break room; if it is occupied or it is lunchtime, use the chairs in front of the reception desk or ask the Community Care Minister for use of his office.
  • Never go past the break room.
  • Never close the door (be visible).
  • If you feel uncomfortable dealing with this person or persons by yourself, please ask another minister or director to join you during the interview.
  • Ask if they have read the purpose statement, then clarify “I am here to listen, counsel, and pray for/with you. We will help if your request is within the boundaries of our church food pantry, clothes closet, and relief ministry referrals.”
  • Ask if you could pray for your visit and pray for wisdom.
  • Ask “Why are you here?”
  • Listen actively while filling out a Assistance Request Form.
  • Ask unanswered questions on Assistance Request Form.
  • It is very important to record whether they have asked or received assistance from somewhere else. Record where and get a contact name and phone number.
  • Explain our policy for giving resources.
    • We ask if you have involved your family and friends first because it is biblical (Matt 7:9-10, Acts 2:43-47).
    • “As a church, our resources belong to the body of Christ and the body is made up of relationships that are committed to each other and to Jesus Christ. We want to talk with people that know you.” Ask for references.

Food and Clothing Requests

When they ask for food and/or clothing:

  • Allow them to choose from the food pantry (help them choose wisely).
  • Ask for their clothing needs; get sizes and have them wait in break room or in the reception desk area.
  • Go to the clothes closet (key with the receptionist) and look for the item or items.
  • Allow them to try on clothing (in restroom at bottom of the stairs to the administrative offices).

Money Requests

When they ask for money:

  • Say: “I am here to listen, counsel, and pray for/with you. We will help if your request is within the boundaries of our church food pantry, clothes closet, and ministry referrals.”
  • If you discern genuine need for money, you should:
    • Call all their references to verify facts.
    • Verify their employment if they are employed.
      • Call boss and explain who you are and the nature of your call.
      • Ask: “In your opinion, is there any reason we should not help this person?”
    • Once you verify their references, get Pastoral Care Staff involved to decide if a formal request should be made to the mercies fund.
      • The care staff discerns if the need is urgent and under the $500 monthly mercies allotment for the on-call ministry.
      • Urgent requests go to the Executive Pastor or Senior Pastor to process a check request or groceries purchase.
      • If care staff is not available, call Phillip Williams’ cell phone. If that fails, involve the Executive Pastor.
  • Don’t tell them that you can make a financial request.
  • Only after calling all their references (have them wait in private) and involving care staff (or Executive Pastor) can you let them know that you are making a request.
  • A mercy fund request may be made for less urgent needs under $500 or for urgent needs over $500. This means the process produced personal discernment, from the on-call minister, that warrants a formal request to the Mercy Committee.
  • Make sure that they know an answer for such a request will not be immediate—nor your decision to make—if processing a Mercy Fund Request (decided by a committee).
  • Never give cash yourself.

Hotel and Rent Money

  • If it has been determined that someone has a legitimate emergency with rent or utilities, there are community ministries and services for referral located at the end of this procedure. Please refer them according to their need and zip code.
  • When they ask for “a few days hotel rent” or “rent money:” Help them add up cost of hotel/apt. rent for a month. Ask if they feel that is affordable housing (usually not). Explain why you don’t think rent money is helpful.
    • “It is quick fix. You will have the same need tomorrow.”
  • Explain that you can:
    • Call one of the short-term lodging ministries and see if they have room (numbers and contacts in resource guide).
    • Arrange for transportation if they will go (never drive them anywhere).
    • Bus passes are available through the North Dallas Shared Ministry (near Bachman Lake) or Dallas County Community Action Center (near downtown).
    • You can call Dart for a bus schedule: 214-979-1111.
    • Bus Stop #428 is at the corner of Douglas and Northwest Highway. One way fair is $1; you can pay the bus driver and get reimbursed through care staff.

Close and Document Visit

  • Have them wait (break room or reception desk area) while you go to your office.
  • Review the Community Care Ministry Checklist again (in policy booklet): especially red flags and checklist.
  • Seek second opinion from staff member on your course of action, if needed.
  • Get the Polaroid camera and take their picture.
  • Attempt to connect with them spiritually.
  • Ask: “What do you believe about having a relationship with God?
  • Ask: “Can I share with you what we believe and why?”
  • Share and clarify the gospel.
  • Pray with and for them.
  • Give clothing, food or other assistance, and close the meeting.
  • If necessary, fill out Mercies Fund Request and give to minister of community care.
  • Add picture to Assistance Request Form.
  • Write any notes about the visit on Assistance Request Form.
  • Sign and date it.
  • File the form alphabetically in the notebook.
  • Email care staff to document which resources were depleted.

Controlling Hostile Care Receivers

If the care receiver is uncontrollably disturbing at any point in your interview:

  • Be calm but firm and tell the person: “You will have to leave and we are unable to help you at this time. If you resist, I will be forced to call the police (911). Please do not seek help from us again.”
  • Have someone help you escort them off campus if they agree to leave. If they resist, call the police.
  • Document this clearly on their request form, explaining that we are not to help this person in the future.

Ministry Resources

Questions When Calling References

  • Tell them who you are and ask if you can ask questions about (name).
  • Ask how long and in what capacity have they known him or her.
  • Ask if they know of this present need.
  • Ask: “In your opinion is there any reason we should not help this person?”

Before you go, check yourself …

  • Community Care Ministry Checklist—I am familiar with Procedure and Resource Guide
  • Sign up to minister monthly
  • Tell co-workers my scheduled ministry days
  • Tell co-worker when called to minister with someone
  • Pray before greeting the person in need
  • Get Assistance Request Form and Notebook (receptionist’s desk)
  • Meet in break-room with open door
  • Pray for visit together
  • Review ministry purpose statement with person
  • Complete Assistance Request Form
  • Call all references
  • Call previously visited churches and organizations
  • Provide food, clothing, or referral
  • Take Polaroid picture
  • Clarify the gospel and pray
  • File completed Assistance Request Form
  • Email care staff with details

Community Care Resources

For more information, look in the Community Council of Greater Dallas Source Book, located at the receptionist’s desk.


  • Austin Street Shelter, 2929 Hickory St., Dallas 75226, 214-428-4242.
  • Casa Shelter (YMCA), 2640 Webb Chapel Ext., Dallas, 214-358-4505. Temporary shelter for ages 10-17.
  • Dallas Life Shelter, 1100 Cadiz, Dallas 75215, 214-421-1380. This is an emergency shelter for homeless men, women and children.
  • Downtown, 922 Park Ave., Dallas 75201, 214-747-5606. Overnight shelter for up to 200 men.
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter, Drawer G, Dallas 75208, 214-942-2998. Provides emergency shelter, in-house food and clothing for battered women and their children.
  • Salvation Army, 6500 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas 75235, 214-424-7000.
  • Samaritan Inn, 212 McMakin St., McKinney, 972-562-7275 Transitional housing for homeless. Assists in employment training skills, helps with homeless families. Primarily serves Collin County but will take others.
  • Union Gospel Mission Shelter, Calvert Place, 3211 Irving Blvd., Dallas 75247, 214- 637-6117.


  • Texas Workforce Commission, PO Box 50786, Dallas 75250, 214-290-1031. Attempts to find jobs for all persons. Counsels job seeker having special employment problems.

Food Assistance

  • Bethlehem Foundation, 1159 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas 75232, 214-371-3407. Provides emergency assistance for food, clothing, rent, utilities, job referral, counseling, and drug workshops. Transportation services and prescription payments for the elderly and disabled.
  • The Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church, 408 Park Ave., Dallas 75201, 214- 746-2785, ext. 243. Provides noon meal, employment assistance, free telephone, mailboxes, first aid, dental clinic, medical clinic, referral services and pastoral counseling to the indigent of Dallas.

Emergency Assistance

  • Dallas County Community Action Committee, Inc., 910 N. Central Expy., Dallas 75204, 214-827-6585 Access: multilingual, DART. Promotes self-sufficiency among low-income individuals and families. Includes emergency food, clothing, financial assistance, homeless program and toy distribution during Christmas.
  • North Dallas Shared Ministries, 2530 Glenda Ln., Dallas 75229, 972-620-8696. Emergency Aid Center: Food and financial assistance for rent, utilities, glasses, prescriptions, bus tokens, gas vouchers, school supplies. Employment assistance and more. Must qualify by zip code and have some income. Serves: 75205, 75209, 75219, 75220, 75225, 75230, 75231, 75234, 75240, 75244, 75247, 75248, 75252, 75287, and 75001.
  • Salvation Army, 5302 Harry Hines, Dallas 75235, 214-424-7000. For financial assistance come between 8:00-8:30 am. Bring identification, social security number, proof of income (can include unemployment income), past due notice.
  • White Rock Center of Hope, 10021A Garland Rd., Dallas 75218, 214-324-8996. Emergency aid in the form of food, clothing, rent/utility assistance. Serves individuals experiencing crisis; services in zip codes: 75218, 75228, 75238, and parts of 75214 and 75223. Picture identification, social security number and proof of residence are required.


  • Alcoholics Anonymous, 6162 Mockingbird Ln., Ste. 213, Dallas 75244, 214- 887-6699.
  • Betty Ford Clinic, California. 800-854-9211. Treatment for substance and alcohol abuse.
  • Teen Challenge of North Texas, 1106 Graham, Ste. 308, Dallas 75223, 214-824-6181. Crisis counseling and referral center. Help in rehabilitation of alcohol and drug abusers. Limited personal assistance.

Support Groups for Addictions

  • Al-Anon and Alateen, 5533 Dyer St., #103, Dallas 75206, 214-363-0461. Self help family groups for relatives and friends of problem drinkers.
  • Families Anonymous, Highland Park Presbyterian. Support group and meeting for parents of children with behavioral concerns (drugs, alcohol, jail, etc.) every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 pm. Based on the 12 Step Program. Meets in the basement of the church.

Crisis Support

  • Runaway Hotline, Texas, 24 hour. 888-580-4357. Provides crisis intervention and referrals for callers in need of shelter. A confidential message relay service is available to promote communication between runaways and their families.
  • Suicide and Crisis Center, 2808 Swiss Ave., Dallas 75204, 214-828-1000. Provides confidential telephone counseling, information and referral services 24 hours a day.


  • Crisis Pregnancy Center of Dallas, 12959 Jupiter Rd., Ste. 140, Dallas, 75238, 214-343-9263.
  • Prestonwood Pregnancy and Family Care, 308 Spanish Village, Dallas, 75248. 972-386-4015. Pregnancy testing, counseling, information, social services, classes, support groups, and much more.


  • Mental Health Association, 214-871-2420.
  • Information on Clinical Depression, 800-228-1114.
  • Elderly Suicide Prevention, 415-752-3778.
  • Depression Awareness, 800-421-4211.
  • Depressive and Manic Depressive Association, 817-654-7100.

Dallas Area Hospitals

Hospitals are listed with Patient Information numbers, where available.

  • Baylor University Medical Center, 3500 Gaston, Dallas, 74246, 214-820-0111.
  • Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, 3505 Gaston, Dallas, 75246, 214-826-7030.
  • Baylor/Richardson Medical Center, 401 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson, 972-498-4000.
  • Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, 1935 Motor St., Dallas, 75235, 214-456-2195.
  • Doctors Hospital, 9440 Poppy Dr. (Near Arboretum), 214-324-6336.
  • Mary Shiels Hospital, 3515 Howell St., Dallas, 75204, 214-443-3000.
  • Medical City Dallas, 7777 Forest Ln., Dallas, 972-566-7000.
  • Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, 8200 Walnut Hill Ln., Dallas, 75230, 214-345-6789.
  • RHD Memorial Medical Center, LBJ and Webbs Chapel, Dallas, 972-247-1000.
  • Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, 2222 Welborn St., Dallas, 75219, 214-559-5000.
  • Zale Lipshy University Hospital, 5151 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, 75235, 214-590-3132.

Other Area Hospitals:

  • Arlington Memorial Hospital, 800 W. Randol Mill Dr., Arlington, 817-265-5581.
  • Garland Community Hospital, 2696 W. Walnut, Garland, 972-276-7116.
  • Methodist Medical Center, 1441 N. Beckley, 214-947-2990.
  • Baylor Medical Center at Garland Marie Curie, Garland, 75042, 972-487-5000.
  • Baylor Medical Center/Richardson, 401 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson, 75080, 972-498-4000.
  • Presbyterian Hospital of Plano, 6200 W. Parker Rd. and Tollway, Plano, 972-981-8000.
  • Trinity Medical Center, 4343 N. Josey Ln., Carrollton, 972-492-1010.
  • VA Hospital of North Texas, 4500 S. Lancaster Rd., Dallas, 75216, 214-742-8387.


View the original PDF: On Call Care Procedures