The Puzzle Of Pastoral care is for anyone who is responsible for, interested in or practising pastoral care: lay or ordained; in full time or part time ministry; paid or voluntary. Anyone being trained in pastoral care or responsible for training others. The issues raised are relevant to churches of all denominations.
Pastoral care in churches is a puzzle. Why is it rarely talked about seriously? How has it come to be either taken for granted or sidelined as less important than ‘mission’ and ‘church growth’? And why is pastoral care so difficult to do well? It is clearly at the heart of the Christian life, yet in many churches, pastoral care is surprisingly inadequate, and where it does work well, it is often mysteriously difficult to replicate elsewhere.
This book aims to help churches work on better pastoral care provision. It takes a down-to-earth approach in a brief and accessible format. While addressing what makes for good, thoughtful, high-quality pastoral care, it also looks at what can get in the way, the hitches and glitches and challenges. Each short section includes illustrative stories, ending with suggested Bible passages and prayers. It could be used by a group or dipped into by individuals.