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Session 4: Caring Qualities


By the end of this session you should be able to: 

  • Describe the characteristics required of a carer

  • Explain how Jesus shows his compassion and care

  • List the qualities required of a Christian carer



Philippians 4:6 says "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." New Living Translation.

Take some blu-tac or play dough or anything you can find that you can handle and changes shape, and literally shape it into something that represents your worry hold it in your hands for a few moments then reshape it into something that represents a prayer. Hold it in your hands for a few moments and pray with the new shape for God’s peace.


Recap on previous weeks – what strikes you from your notes / doodles that you have found challenging?  What pastoral care have you given and received in the past week?

Qualities of a Pastoral Carer

Make a note of the top 10 qualities you look for in someone who is offereing pastoral care.  If you think of more than 10 then whittle them down to the most important to you.  If you can’t think of 10, phone a friend, look on-line, go to the discussion forum and ask a question.


Jesus the Carer

Choose either Matthew 14: 25 – 31 or John 19:26-27 for some in depth study and reflection, and the spiritual practice of imaginative prayer of an incident where Jesus cares for those close to him.

Recap on previous weeks – what strikes you from your notes / doodles that you have found challenging?  What pastoral care have you given and received in the past week?

Image by Rod Long


Read your chosen passage from your preferred Bible version (you can access most translations online - click the button if you'd like to do this.

Image by Alphacolor


Listen your chosen passage being read by someone else, or make a recording of yourself reading it aloud, and play it back (most mobile phones have this facility, or you can listen on line by clicking the button.

Image by Michael Aleo


Choose one of the characters from the story, and listen again as if you were that character

Image by Liam Welch


Listen for the final time noticing how you feel.

Image by v2osk


How did Jesus show his care for those in the story? What difference do you think this made to them? What caring qualities can you identify?

Image by Rosalind Chang


Coming back to yourself – review the whole story, answer the questions again, and notice any insight or challenge.

Repeat the above exercise with either Luke 19: 2- 9 or Mark 8: 22 - 25 for some in depth study and reflection, on an incident where Jesus cares for people he met.

How do these stories compare with each other?

Caring Characteristics Exercise

Go to page 46 of ‘Exploring Pastoral Care’ and read the Summary at the top of the page.  Then, against the qualities listed, give yourself a confidence score out of 10, where 1 is low, and 10 is high, as to whether this is something you recognise in yourself. In case you prefer not to write in your text book we have created a table for you to print out which you can find in the Resources Section below.
Finally, ask someone who knows you to look at the list with your confidence scores, and ask them to say if any could be higher. 

Reflect – we don’t have to be fully confident in all areas! 


Spotlight on Doctrine

Pastoral care and the Christian faith is a matter of grace and not works.  Take a look at the cycle of grace at this web link: and notice anything that might challenge you in your care of others.   Write three things down in your learning journal for discussion on the final Study Day

Spotlight on Spirituality

We have used a version of prayer and study in this session which is often used to engage the imagination.  Some people find this easy and very helpful and other find it difficult and not very helpful. How did you find it?

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. 


Something Practical To Do

Invite someone to share some time with you and ask them to tell you about their thoughts on the caring qualities needed to offer pastoral care well.  Notice what you hear them say, and repeat back to them a summary of what you heard to see if that is what they meant to say.

Share some of what you have found on the discussion board in the Forum (this post is required for those taking the assessment).


Table for Caring Charateristics Exercise

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