I find that in many cases, when the number of a congregation increases, there will be less effective pastoral care in the church. Currently, I have been participating in church-organized visits to believers, and after talks with the laity, I started to analyze the reasons of a lack of pastoring from their feedback and am thinking about how I can improve pastoral care.
I. Paying attention to the management of the church
The church should not exclude management knowledge because all truth comes from God. Church leaders can help develop the church in a healthier and more orderly manner if they apply management knowledge well. It may be argued that management is a kind of social knowledge of the world and is not necessary for the spiritual community. However, in practice, many churches encounter problems caused by the lack of management such as the forming of various cliques, the lack of concentricity, the lack of communication between believers and the church, and the distinct groups with their own agenda, etc. The management of the church lies not only in the formulation of rules and regulations, but also in the improvement of the self-management ability of believers, so we should also attach importance to self-management.
II.Strengthening team collaboration
In the church, different gifts and service have different importance. If any limb has lost its function, then the body will not be complete. Individual heroism is not appropriate for the development of the church, so strengthening team management can unite the organization members to cooperate to complete their mission.
III.Enhancing the church's pastoral care
When the church is large, traditional pastoral work which focuses solely on preparing for the Sunday sermon can no longer meet the actual needs of the church's members. The church needs to elevate its pastoral work.
1. Adopting wholistic pastoring as modeled by Jesus
As recorded in the four Gospels, the ministry of the Lord Jesus was that of "body, mind and soul". He not only preached the gospel to save sinners and met the spiritual needs of the people, but also healed their diseases, meeting the needs of their physical body. In this regard we should follow the Lord's example. The pastoral care of the church must focus on the spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological, marital, family, academic and career needs of the believers. The church should provide believers with wholistic pastoral care based on the Scriptures' teaching.
2. Caring appropriately for different ages
The pastoral care of the church must take into account different ages and give appropriate pastoral care to their unique background and needs. Because believers have different needs at different stages of life, the church's pastoral care can be based on the grouping of similar ages, providing them suitable age-appropriate pastoral care. However, even in the same age group, members have different marital, family, work and academic backgrounds. so differences in beliefs, service experiences and psychology among different members should be taken into account in the hope that the age-based pastoral care itself can be improved and enriched. It is also advisable to provide mixed-age pastoral care, through such things as camps, parent-child activities, seminars or special events in order to bring together believers of different ages to maintain the relationship of the church as a whole.
The teaching and pastoral work of the church is vital to its growth and the extension of life. Only by constantly exploring and cultivating the talents of future generations in a "more believers, fewer workers" situation can the church have a better future!
- Translated by Charlie Li