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Lesson 5 -- Building Relationships Through Pastoral Care

Life is about relationships.
A regular and demanding part of pastoral care lies in the one-on-one meeting with persons
who look to us for interpersonal, moral, and spiritual guidance.
Pastoral care includes the care of the inner life of people, the mending and nurturing of souls.

The Christian's community is a covenant community.
It is bonded by the sacrifice of Jesus.
Our united spiritual relationship with Christ brings us into a family relationship.
We care for one another because we realize that God cares for us.
As sinners saved by grace, we wish to share our hope with others.
Friendships require time for conversation, shared experience, and getting to know
one another in an intimate way. Ignore a relationship and it will die.
Ignore a church member and they will go away.

One of the harsh realities of relationships is that those we serve will not always understand.
Peter did not understand when Jesus washed his feet.
There will be times when the flock will not understand what the shepherd is doing.
They will protest and make unfounded remarks.
They will misinterpret kind acts as an attempt to gain recognition.
They will interpret a word or action as an attempt to gain personal power.
Our attempts to solve conflict will be seen as meddling.

Misunderstanding marks pastoral life.
The Corinthians misunderstood some of Paul's teachings.
Three letters and several visits later, the Apostle still didn't have the situation straightened out.
Our motives need to be right.
We must be honest before God.
When we have done our best, we must leave the results to God.
It hurts to be misunderstood.
However, it happened to Jesus and it will happen to us.