A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
A Role for Everyone
Pastoral care is integral to the life of the church – it’s what we do for each other as we form relationships and learn to love one another. It is the attitude of being attentive to each other’s joys and sorrows, difficulties and successes; where we both give and receive help, support and encouragement from one another.
Pastoral care may take place in many different situations; either on a one to one basis or within existing small groups.
One to one care is based on building relationships, recognising that there are many within our church community who are dealing with issues such as loss, grief, poor health, broken or damaged relationships, past hurts and future fears and feelings such as poor self worth, guilt and shame. A one to one relationship provides a safe place where people are free to express these things without being judged or condemned. We will encourage and support people in developing their relationship with God as they work through these issues.
The various small groups in the church (for example Connect Groups and Meeting Point) provide a supportive and encouraging environment for pastoral care not only on a spiritual level through prayer and learning from scripture but also in very practical ways such as cooking meals, babysitting and hospital visiting.
As we learn to care for one another we increasingly become a place where people from outside the church community feel welcomed and find a safe place to be, in their own times of difficulty and need. Our Christ-like love and concern for those within our church community will extend naturally to those in our wider town community and beyond.
The Pastoral Care Team
The Senior Pastor takes the leading role in the church’s pastoral care, working with the community outreach pastor, the elders, the deacon for pastoral care and the pastoral care team to ensure that people in the fellowship and community are supported to grow in their love for Christ and one another.
The pastoral care team within St John’s strives to support the senior pastor and to encourage and initiate care within the church through a variety of ways:
- Provide care to those within our church community.
- Model a confidential, non-judgmental, compassionate and prayerful approach to caring for one another.
- Support people who are carrying out pastoral care, particularly if they are involved in a stressful situation.
- Commit to pray, both as a team and individually.
- Organise and facilitate appropriate training for those involved in pastoral care.
- Look out for people requiring support – either to provide that support or to ensure that the need is being met by others within the church
As a team we welcome being approached for a chat, requests for prayer, visits or practical help.
How Does Pastoral Care Happen?
If there is a need for pastoral care the team can be contacted through the church office.
Team members will respect confidentiality. There may occasionally be times however, when information needs to be shared with an appropriate person and this will take place after discussion with the person seeking support.
Vulnerable Adults, Good Practice Guidelines
St John’s is committed to:
- the care, nurture of, and respectful pastoral ministry with all adults
- the safeguarding and protection of all adults when they are vulnerable
- the establishing of safe, caring communities which provide a loving environment where there is a culture of ‘informed vigilance’ as to the dangers of abuse