Reflect for a moment on the pastoral care you have received and the pastoral care you have given over the past week. Bring this before God with thanks for those who God has used to touch you and those God has used you to touch.
Ask God to open your eyes to new ways of giving and receiving pastoral care as you work through this session.
Who is Called to Care?
Take 2 minutes (literally! Use a timer on your phone, or watch or even the kitchen timer – the discipline is stopping when the timer rings) and jot down your immediate ideas on who is called to offer Christian care?
Now watch the videos and follow the links and for each one consider:
a) how do the verses support my conclusions?
b) how do the verses differ from my conclusions?
NB: Not every video will be to everybody’s taste but you never know how something different might speak to you!
All, Some, Few
Pastoral Care UK propose a useful table which you will find on page 34 of the book. This enables us to see that Pastoral Care is the responsibility of us ALL, in that we are all called to care, although not all will respond. However, SOME of us will be given pastoral gifts to use for the common good. A FEW of us will be called to pastoral leadership and equipping which bears the responsibility of enabling the ALL and the SOME.
Look at the table and then think about where you see yourself – as part of the ALL, the SOME or the FEW? And why? Write your thoughts in your reflective journal for discussion on the next study day.
Optional – talk to a trusted friend or family member. Show them the framework and ask them where they see you – as part of the ALL, the SOME or the FEW, and why?
Who Are we Called to Care For?
Make a list of the different people you think God invites Christians to care for.
On a personal level, now make a list of the different people you are already caring for.
As you look at these two lists, is there anything that challenges you?
The Church Family
Look up the following passages which help us understand something about caring for the family of believers:
Neighbour, Stranger, Enemy
Now look up these passages which help us understand something about caring for the stranger, the neighbour and the enemy:
Think about – is there anyone you do NOT feel called to care for (at this time, in this place and at a personal level).
Why do you think it is important to have your own boundaries?
How might saying, “NO” be important?
Spotlight on Doctrine
Pastoral care and the Christian faith does not foster independence, rather interdependent living. How do you respond to this statement and where in what you have learned in this session is this evident? Write three things down in your learning journal for discussion on the Study Day.
Spotlight on Spirituality
In the light of your learning in this session, what are you most thankful for? What have you found difficult or challenging? How will what you have learned inform your practice of prayer and worship? Write or draw just ONE word or image that will help you in your journey with God at this time.
Spotlight on A Safer Church
With what you already know about promoting a safer church, what are the main issues you have identified this week in order to be safe when involved with pastoral care? Make a note in your learning journal for discussion on the Study Day.
What has particularly struck you in this session? How will you use some of what you have learned as you live out your life of faith?
Blessed are you, Lord our God, all things come from you:
from you come our life, this world and all that we have and are.
Help us to love one another as you have loved us.
Blessed are you, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
To Do in Church This Week
Where in your church do you see the All, Some, Few framework being demonstrated? Can you discern elements of this session's material in any of the words or actions of the service? Is there any prayer ministry offered? What about refreshments after the service - does that also serve a pastoral purpose?
Share some of what you have found on the discussion board in the Forum.