Pastoral Care

<<shepherding the church members>>

The directive to “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…” encompasses counselling, visiting the sick, discipling members, encouraging, and tending to spiritual needs besides preaching (1 Pet 5:2,3). Apart from preaching, these valuable interactions with hurting humanity often occur one-on-one or with a couple, and can be significant times of spiritual breakthrough. This ministry can be time consuming, besides being emotionally and spiritually draining, as complex personal issues are addressed. Pastoral workers should also be aware of suitable professional help for referral when necessary.

This vitally important role should not be just the paid pastor’s responsibility. It can be helpful to develop a group of ‘under shepherds’ so the task does not become unbearable (Ex 18:17-23).

Other mature, godly people must help to address the needs within the local church through the ‘body ministry’ of “works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph 4:12). Following this sound advice, the congregation must consistently be

We all are equipped to help others

taught the truths and principles of God’s Word and encouraged to live accordingly.

When Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, He instructed others to remove the grave clothes – the hindrances of the former ‘death existence’. Jesus had performed the miracle of bringing life, and in a similar way we are to work with Him to see others released from that which restricts and which they are unable to do without assistance (Jn 11:44).

See also: burdens, burnout, minister, pastor/minister, shepherd, support.