Posts Tagged pastoral care

Pastoral Care in LIFE Groups

By Jay Fennell

One function of a LIFE Group at Brentwood Baptist Church is to “Love One Another.” What does that mean? It means that the group is committed to praying and caring for one another in the mountain and valley moments of life. It means that the group responds to needs and serves in a biblical and God-honoring way.
But from time to time, pastoral care needs emerge in LIFE Groups leaving the leader and the group unsure of what to do and how to serve. It can be quite intimidating to navigate the issue at hand because the leader can feel ill-equipped to handle the pastoral care need that has emerged.
Before you tackle a pastoral care need in your group, consider these things:

  1. Your role as a LIFE Group leader is to bear burdens, not carry the load. Paul writes in Galatians 6:2 – “Carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” When someone staggers, we steady the load, but we don’t take it off their shoulders and carry it for them. If someone is straining, we help bear the burden, but we don’t remove it and take it all on ourselves. Boundaries are important and must be established. You are responsible to love, minister, serve, pray and care under the wisdom and guidance of the Lord. You are not responsible to make them happy or solve their problems.
  2. Some issues go beyond the scope of pastoral care for a leader and the group. In these cases where leaders feel completely inadequate and ill-equipped to handle a serious pastoral care need, it’s best to refer to a specialist or trained minister. It doesn’t mean that the group cannot still pray diligently for the person, it just means that the leader and group will not take the lead on providing hands-on care. Pastoral counseling is available through Brentwood Baptist by calling 615-324-6169.
  3. Pastoral care happens best in LIFE Group environments where multiple people can partner together to meet needs and provide ministry, rather than one-on-one. In a church the size of Brentwood Baptist, LIFE groups provide the best opportunity to meet needs and provide care. How can the group collectively provide resources to bear the burden for someone in the group?
  4. The ultimate goal of our care is to help provide healing and forward movement toward Christlikeness. Ultimately, we want the people receiving our care to be reestablished and on course to grow and become more like Jesus. The beauty of the Body of Christ is that we’re for one another, caring and encouraging each other to grow toward Christlikeness.

At Brentwood Baptist Church, we have a ministry that coordinates and manages benevolent needs that arise in the church. If you have a benevolent need that arises in your LIFE group, have the person in need call 615-324-6179.