Monday, October 14, 2013

pastoral care is a universal function

From David Alan Black
Have you been pastoring lately? No, I did not ask if you are a pastor. Pastoring is not just the work of church leaders we call “pastors.” Pastoring is a much broader concept that includes a whole perspective on life. Pastoring (a metaphor) is simply shepherding — caring for others. In his essay “The Theology of Pastoral Care” (Pastoral Psychology 10 [1959] 21-26), Paul Tillich argued that pastoral care is a universal function. No profession can monopolize it. He went on to differentiate between those who are pastors and those who pastor as follows: pastors exercise this care intentionally and consciously, whereas others do so more casually and unintentionally. In this sense, then, pastoring has nothing to do with religious office per se. All believers can and should be pastoring. Pastors/shepherds may help to facilitate this ministry, but they do not pastor to the exclusion of the sheep caring for each

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