Top positive review
We need to talk ...
Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2013
Pastoral Counseling and Soul care are worthy of regular assessment in the typical harried life of a pastor. For the purpose of clarification, Pastoral Care is an aspect of ministry that is mistakenly being relegated to somebody other than the pastor(s) - at least in title. This in no way precludes the pastoral staff from this inherent responsibility. As defined by Clineball, "Pastoral Ministry ... includes such things as preaching, teaching, leading worship, administration, community service, leadership development, and, of course, pastoral care and counseling." This is all considered to be part of the necessary soul care of those we shepherd. David Benner, in Strategic Pastoral Counseling, broadly defines ministry as, "Anything that brings people into contact with God [and] nurtures the growth of their spirits and heals their soul.
As such a couple of meaningful considerations offered to those who desire to strengthen their skills in this area:
Speak little - listen much. Helpful advice from French theologian, Fenelon, who suggested that we, "think far more of understanding hearts and adapting yourself to their [those we counsel] needs than of saying clever things to them."
Counseling is about being - not doing. Contrary to popular thinking, Benner reminds us, counseling is, "... not reducible, therefore, to telling a person what to do or what not to do." Moreover "it is not merely being; it is being with." The weight of offering your presence to those is need should not be minimized.
Let's rediscover the value of pastoral care and counseling and continually invest in strengthening the spiritual health of our people.