At Maranatha Christian Community Church, pastoral care is an essential part of ministry and is designed to meet the spiritual, emotional, physical, and social needs of individuals and congregations and include spiritual guidance and support, counselling and guidance, pastoral care of the sick and vulnerable, preaching and teaching, pastoral leadership, as well as worship, prayer and music. Pastoral care is an essential part of ministry and is vital to the spiritual, emotional, physical, and social well-being of individuals and congregations.
The main practices of our pastoral care include:
- Spiritual care. Simply put, spiritual care is attending to a person’s spiritual or religious needs as they cope with pain, loss, loneliness or illness by helping them heal physically and emotionally and regain their sense of spiritual well-being.
- Healing ministry. Any one who needs healing can ask for prayer.
- Assistance with trauma. Through times of pain and crisis, pastoral care can offer support, prayer, discussions, spiritual guidance and more to help create ongoing communication.
- Praying with and for others. Prayer during times of sickness, hurting and healing can be extremely powerful and comforting. Pastoral care offers a safe space to pray with those in their own location and who may not be able to physically attend worship.
- Biblical counseling. Using the Bible as a guide and a reference, pastoral care can aid in one’s spiritual journey, whether they want to further it or they may have lost their way and are ready to continue their spiritual pathway.
- Bereavement. Throughout life, we all experience loss and grief. Pastoral care can aid in bereavement services, such as meeting with someone one-on-one or holding weekly or monthly sessions, by assisting people who are rebuilding or continuing their life through prayer.
Each of these responsibilities and duties play an important role in pastoral care, as pastoral care can serve the needs of many different people, such as:
- The sick and homebound
- Those who feel lost or lonely
- The forgotten and marginalized
- Those who are grieving
- People suffering mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD
- Those who have been abused, mistreated or suffer from a traumatic event
- Those who want to strengthen their faith.
A skilled pastoral care professional will also recognize when to refer someone to a trained mental health professional with more specialized skills.
Definition or Pastoral Care
Pastoral care is the care and support that clergy provide to their congregants. The seven functions of pastoral care are to nurture, encourage, counsel, teach, lead, equip, and witness.
These functions are:
- To provide spiritual care
- To provide emotional care
- To provide physical care
- To provide social care
- To provide pastoral counselling
- To provide pastoral guidance
- To provide pastoral care