Debra Green : Equipped. Pastors r us?
What is the pastor gift? Shepherding? Can mean someone with divine enabling of others, taking responsibility to model & establish trust, lead, protect those within our span of care.
We can’t abdicate caring to pastors who are paid. We all should take responsibility to respond to need.
Pastoral care; 4 things to remember- CARE
C. Compassion. It starts here! Jesus looked at the crowd and had compassion. He saw they were hungry. Went to meet the need. Went to rescue the lost sheep. Moved to reach out. In your gut, you are moved toward a need. Splancnizomai. Not just a sense of duty, it’s more powerful. Break my heart for what breaks yours. We don’t all have the same concern about the same things & that’s OK. Sometimes we just have to get involved, being spontaneously compassionate. You don’t need permission or a word from God to do that. But bigger issues, like ‘should I go to Haiti?’ we need to check that and run through a bigger filter.
A. Aid (or Action). It’s not just a fluffy feeling – go to work! Cf Good Samaritan. Lk 10. Compassion got him to cross the road. He was a neighbour because he showed mercy. He came to his Aid, a stranger! There were all kinds of reasons why we has the last to be expected to help but he was there, doing what was needed: for a stranger: Mt 25:35-40. We are doing it as unto Jesus! He receives it himself. As a church we are to extend our pastoral care beyond the walls of the church! When someone dies, what can you do? Best thing is just be there with them & be kind. Send notes. Help practically. Offer to pray, sensitively! Give them space too.
R. Relationships. Jn 19:26 Jesus is in agony on the cross, he has nothing more he can give it seems, but then he sees his mother & best friend. Says, ‘Mother- here is your son.’ thinks of them above himself. Putting people together. We have to love & care for people. The bigger the church, it’s easier for people to fall through the net. Ring the person who’s missing, tell them you missed them! Nobody will be attracted to a church where there’s no love. People long for extnded family.
E. Empathy. So much more than sympathy. It’s a rich thing. Hebrews 4:15 , says Jesus knows how we feel, fully. So, he can fully empathise with us when we struggle. You can say, ‘I know someone who is able to know how you feel.’ in fact, when you have been through something – God can use you to help others with the same or similar pain or experience. You may have wondered why God allowed it? It’s valid to ask that. But one day you see it.
How to deal well with conflict in church.
1. Come to me privately if you have a problem with me.
2. I’ll come to you privately
3. If someone comes to you with a problem about me, send them to me
4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say, ‘let’s go together.’
5. Be careful how you interpret me, i would rather do that myself! You might not fully understand my intentions.
6. I will be careful how I interpret you
7. If its confidential, don’t tell even one petson unless it will lead to harm to someone or danger.
8. I do not read unsigned notes, don’t bother sending them.
9. I do not manipulate, I will not manipulate, don’t let anyone manipulate you to try to manipulate me.
10. If in doubt, just say it. If I can answer without misrepresenting something or breaking a confidence, I will.