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Lesson 7 - Maxims of Effective Pastoral Care
One of the best pieces of advice that I can give is "Do No Harm".
If you agree to take care of people then you must be willing to take responsibility
for your actions.
Good intentions can destroy when coupled with ignorance.
Be very confident that you know of what you speak before you give advice.

Respect the individual's right and responsibility to choose their own spiritual guide.
We should be available.
However, we must recognize that sometimes we are not trained or experienced
to help certain individuals.

Allow people time to grow.
Personal spiritual growth occurs according to its own timing.
It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict.
We are the messenger not the message.

Both quiet listening and active confrontation are part of pastoral care.
At times, it is difficult to know when to be passive or aggressive.
Experience and the leadership of the Holy Spirit help in this often times frightening decision.

Pastoral care must not be viewed only as short-term crisis management.
It is a long-term development of the whole person.
Patience is a factor in pastoral care.
If we listen carefully and wait for the proper moment we can accomplish more
than if we try a quick fix.

View pastoral care as a process within the community of faith.
It is not just an isolated interaction.
It is an ever-fluid changing experience that effects the entire community.
Caring for people means caring for torn persons.
They are involved in vulnerable friendships.
They strain to continue sibling and parental relationships.
There are interpersonal entanglements.
It is our task to support and redeem those who hurt.