Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.Acts 20:28
An active listener
Initiates conversations and asks people how they are doing
Comfortable with feelings – one’s own and the feelings of others
Makes people feel comfortable sharing their personal feelings and troubles
Accepting and affirming of others
Attends to other’s needs
Responds to people’s needs with interest, patience and compassion
How do you help take care of your staff’s physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual needs?
Impatient with others
Uncomfortable talking about feelings or listening to others talk about their feelings
High need for control
Overly focused on tasks and getting things done
Gives solutions when people just need to be listened to
Re-assures people prematurely or in a non-believable way
As a leader, what can you do to better take care of your staff’s emotional, relational, mental, physical and/or spiritual needs?
Causes of Weakness
May have a personality type that is not especially well suited to Pastoral Care
Have unresolved personal issues that first need to be addressed
Have a short attention span to listen well to people
Not in touch with own emotions or the emotions of others
Is a ‘fixer’ more than a listener
Poor role models of pastoral care in the past
Which of these causes describes you in some way?
Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.
Culture of Care
Create a culture of care by establishing and promoting team values relating to caring for one another and oneself
Depending on the size of your group, you may want to form a pastoral care team. This is a group of people who have a heart to listen to others and meet them in their place of need. You might define roles and responsibiliities for the team such as hospitality, airport pickups, hospital visits, debriefing, 1-on-1 pastoral check-ins, etc.
Find out what kind of pastoral care or ‘member care’ might be available through other Christian workers in your area or nearby. Sometimes people need someone to talk to who is outside of the team. Taking advantage of other ‘member care’ providers in your area to help with annual debriefing or other special issues issues that come up can be very helpful
Try thinking of your staff as extended members of your family. Are you truly concerned about their physical, mental, relational, emotional and spiritual health? How would you talk to or help your family members if they were struggling in one of those areas? How often would you ask your family members how they are doing?
Listen and Coach
When people are struggling, they often are most in need of finding someone who will listen to them with compassion and without judging. Instead of trying to solve their problems for them, just listen and repeat back what you hear. Ask them some questions about how they are feeling and what it all might mean to them. Offer to pray for them.
If a person’s problem seems serious or outside your ability to help them, make sure to help the person find the kind of help they really need. If they need to talk to a trained member care person or counselor, don’t hesitate to recommend that to the person. They may need a vacation, time away from ministry, an extended furlough, ongoing counseling, or to visit family and friends back home. Make sure you make your staff’s overall health a top priority.