What is Pastoral Care?
Pastoral care is where Christians offer help and caring to others in their church or wider community. Pastoral care can be listening, supporting, encouraging and coming alongside of someone who is going through difficult times
(1 Thessalonians 2:12, 3:2).
HBC Pastoral Care Culture
At hbc we are committed to love the people of God and reflect His unconditional love in both words and deeds. We believe that the responsibility of Pastoral Care falls on the body of Christ and we recognize that both informal and formal pastoral care are equally important and have spiritual significance.
- Informal Pastoral Care is carried out by members of the church through their small groups, morning tea catch ups, playtime, prayer and practical help offered through our Helping Hands Ministry.
- Formal Pastoral Care is carried out by the Pastor(s) and Church Leadership Team – appointed by the Church.
We recognize that it is impossible for both the Pastor(s) and Church Leadership Team to personally know every individual in the church and to encourage, feed and support all church members. Hence why we value the role of Informal Pastoral Care.
When deciding how much Pastoral Care might be offered to someone, those in formal pastoral ministry must take into account the amount of informal pastoral care already given by friends and family within the Church and Small Groups (1 Tim 5:16).
How can I receive Pastoral Care at hbc?
If you are in need of support the best place for you to connect with hbc and receive Pastoral Care will be by joining a Small Group. Our Small Groups meet weekly either at people’s home or at church. This is a great opportunity to meet new friends, go deeper in your faith with God and receive personal prayer.
If an issue outside the realm of responsibility for a Small Group leaders arises they will advise those in formal pastoral care. The Small Group leader will need to get in contact with the Pastor(s) either by email or phone and make an appointment to discuss the issue.
If you can’t join a Small Group for whatever reason, you can speak to one of our Church Leaders in the church or make an appointment through our Church Administrator, Ida, to speak to our Pastor(s).
However it is important to note that our Small Groups will provide the best support and opportunity for ongoing spiritual growth (Acts 2:46).
Responsibility of someone offering Pastoral Care at HBC:
- To be a committed Christian.
- To encourage people to be responsible for their own spiritual health.
- To commit to praying, feeding, encouraging and empowering a member in God’s word.
- To define boundaries and stick with them.
- To be familiar with the Creating Safe Places Training provided by the NSW Baptist Union – http://www.nswactbaptists.org.au/church-leaders/administration/standards/standards-css1
- Anyone working with a child (under 18), paid or volunteer, will need to complete their Working with Children Check NSW Churches.
- Should a matter arise that is beyond the responsibility of a Pastoral Care Leader (informal or formal) the leader needs to contact the Pastor(s) and make an appointment to discuss the issue.
Responsibility of someone receiving Pastoral Care at HBC:
- To understand that the outcome of Pastoral Care is to lead to wholeness and that individuals have a personal responsibility in that process to receive and respond to guidance that is given.
- To be respectful of the time during which they seek Pastoral Care. Unless it is an emergency i.e the passing of a loved one.
- To make every effort to connect with the hbc community so that a wider support of prayer, love, healing and encouragement can be experienced.
What Pastoral Care is Not
- Professional Care Provision – Pastor(s) and Church leaders can refer people to them. Services might include: Counseling, Medical Care and Social Services.
- About developing co-dependency on each other. Pastoral Carer Leaders need to be aware that there is a risk of needing others to need them and thereby encouraging inappropriate dependency. And those receiving care need to be encouraged to seek God for their needs (Matt 7:7; 1 Thess 4:12) and not be offended when boundaries are put in place.