Unpacking the expressions
Pastoral care is a slippery subject. It can’t be neatly packaged and contained within the hands of a few people because the dynamic and rich tapestry of church life demands that people relate to each other in various ways. If pastoral care were to be contained within one framework then we would probably struggle to cover the great challenge of care that so defines the character of the church. With this in mind, here at Pavilion we recognise that pastoral care, when taken seriously and relationally, is expressed in different ways. These are considered in five areas which, in themselves, are not exhaustive.
The pastoral team exists to support the work and ministry of the Church Leadership Team (CLT = ministers and elders). The CLT may refer certain situations to the pastoral team including befriending, mentoring, coaching, counselling, telephone calls, home & hospital visits and prayer. The pastoral team meets on a regular basis to discuss areas of need and usually one of the ministers will attend this meeting. Pastoral care is a support during times of need, often brief or short term.
The Senior and Associate Minister (pictured below) are often contacted by people and this is normal practice within church life. This may be after a Sunday service or any other gathering of church folk. The ministers will also be involved in hospital visits and supporting those who are experiencing a challenging time. A significant part of the ministers' pastoral role is focused on welcoming newcomers to the church.
Pastoral care has a much broader base than helping people in one kind of trouble or another. Rightly understood, it includes helping and enabling people to grow and develop in the Christian faith. Together with the ministers, the elders have spiritual oversight and they seek to encourage ‘everyone perfect in Christ’ (Col 1:28-29).
Life Groups are based upon the “UP-IN-OUT” model. The “In” part is to do with building good friendship through mutual support and accountability. The church website states that life groups exist to:
Build trusting relationships over time in an informal setting;
Encourage and challenge one another in the understanding and practice of our faith;
Celebrate the joys and share our burdens together through prayer;
Develop a sense of teamwork and belonging through serving others together as a group;
These four aspects of relationship within a Life Group have the potential to support people pastorally through the journey of the Christian life.
Prayer is offered in various ways at Pavilion. During Sunday communion, at the Wednesday mid-week communion and home visits for communion are offered too. We have a dedicated prayer team that is on hand to cover any prayer needs.