Two recent articles stimulated my thinking about pastoral care: Bert Witvoet’s editorial about flesh-and-blood pastors (August 22 issue of CC) and a feature piece in Christianity Today on the first anniversary of the Charleston Massacre (May 20, 2016).
Life together is not essential because it’s easy; it’s essential because it’s demanding. When people love each other, and are committed to a relationship together, there will be all kinds of reasons which require the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, perseverance – these are the kinds of things learned in community.
The two articles here are companion pieces to “Raising the pastor-church relationship bar” and “Tell the truth while the pulpit is empty,” both from CC’s November 24, 2014 issue. They are part of our ongoing discussion on church health, particularly between pastors and congregations.
One reader described the first articles as “extremely helpful” in “rapidly changing times.” He photocopied them for 50 members of his church, which anyone is welcome to do with CC material as long as attribution is given. Many of our articles are also available to share at christiancourier.ca.
– Angela Reitsma Bick, Editor
When pastors and churches enter into a relationship, both parties arrive with their own set of expectations. Some of these expectations are spelled out in the letter of call, but in fact these often use broad brushstrokes which leave significant room for interpretation. But this simple reality is not the real challenge. What makes these relationships such a challenge is the fact that expectations are often unspoken, unwritten, sometimes unrealistic and often unmet.