Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Practicing Pastoral Care

One challenging aspect of entering into ministry is pastoral care. You simply have no idea what someone is about to say when they enter your office (or coffee shop or bar or burger joint). We live in a very dysfunctional society. But how can you practice for the unknown? 

Pick a crazy reality show. 90 Day FiancĂ© on TLC is perfect. I watch Bering Sea Gold with handfuls of confetti, throwing it in the air and cheering "counseling, counseling for everyone!".  

 As you watch your favorite guilty pleasure, think about what issues you see and what questions you would ask them if they were in your office. What emotional traits and family systems would you discuss? What healthy boundaries or family practices would you offer for their consideration? 

The art of pastoral care is being lost. Pastors have been told to always refer people to therapists, but not everyone is open to therapy or can afford therapy, and thankfully some people still seek to place God in the midst of their struggles and will seek your guidance as they strive for a more balanced, positive life.  Understand your limitations and that there are times when you should refer to specialists, but you do have the gifts to help people change their lives. 

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