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Hospice Care: Important Lesson for Pastors to Learn

Hospice Care: Important Lesson for Pastors to Learn

Several Christian women pray for a girl Several Christian women pray for a girl (unsplash.com)
ByWang Hanfei March 18, 2022
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Besides pastoral counseling, the pastoral ministry should include psychological counseling and hospice care.

Some pastors teach much Bible knowledge at the very beginning of pastoral care. In fact, this is not scientific.

In medical and nursing psychology, there is a philosophy named "emotion care first, therapy later". Learning of their illness, a patient must be afraid and helpless, so we should provide emotional comfort first to build an emotional connection. Receiving a sense of security, they as a result would be more willing to accept therapy, on account of a good doctor-patient relationship.

Proposed by an American psychologist named Claude, this model is also applicable to the pastoral work of the church. To make pastoral care more effective and sustainable, we should establish relationships first through communication and emotional support. Believers’ relationships with pastors and God are the emotional foundation of pastoralism.

In the face of death, a critically ill patient needs to be held tightly by a pair of hands, which can help him face the disease with dignity and security, even until death. Facing death is the last lesson for the patient and an important lesson for the pastor to learn.

Hospice care can help patients face death peacefully without fear. They can rest in God’s arms, knowing that they can enter the kingdom of heaven.  

Here is a very sensitive topic. Should we let believers who have cancer know about their illness? Cancer patients need to be informed about their illness, new research suggests.

For dying believers who are well educated and disciplined with strong character, pastors can provide comprehensive hospice care, activating their bodies' natural ability to self-heal. For believers with low self-control, the church should adopt a protective strategy or something in between.

When a believer expresses anger, they should not be restrained except for excessive behavior. Clear, effective, and positive answers should be given to questions raised by them, to establish good pastoral relationships in a quiet and non-stimulating environment.

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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