Pastor’s message

Pastoral Care (4) In Crisis and Chronic

I have observed that churches and small groups usually respond well to crises. People rise to the occasion, they respond with generous practical displays of love and support. In fact, Christian fellowships are some of the best-equipped crisis care communities. What we don’t do so well is persevere with people when things become chronic. People whose […]

Continue Reading

Pastoral Care (3) Doing Life Together

We’ve previously seen how the Bible describes pastoral care as being under God, leading God’s people, by the word of God’s grace, into eternity with God. Pastoral ministry looks back to the Good Shepherd dying for his sheep and looks forward to the return of the Great Shepherd who will gather his sheep for eternity. These are […]

Continue Reading

Pastoral Care (2) Life Groups

Pastoral Care in Life Groups Many churches are placing a greater and greater emphasis on small groups in the shape of their ministry. They are looking to these groups to build relationships, equip people for ministry, support people in crisis, encourage personal evangelism, and offer specific and personal prayer for the members. Some leaders are finding […]

Continue Reading

Pastoral Care (1) Definitions and Background

Having been professionally trained as a social worker, I made the assumption for many years that pastoral care was the term for social work in the church. It was about visiting the sick, providing for the poor, counseling the messed up, befriending the lonely, caring for the needy, and helping people with their problems. This […]

Continue Reading

Making disciples 4: beyond small talk

A number of us shared our difficulty in moving conversations from small talk to ‘big talk’. We feel uncomfortable trying to bring Jesus, God, church, being Christian up in conversation with others. There seems to be a common awkwardness in raising spiritual matters with our family, friends, and workmates. Some feel threatened about raising Christian […]

Continue Reading

Making disciples 3: making friends

Many important themes arose from our feedback on sharing Jesus with our friends, and one of the most basic was this: I hardly have any friends who aren’t Christian. Quite a few people had this response in one form or other. There are a number of factors involved in this. For some, they have recently moved to […]

Continue Reading

Making disciples 2: trellis and vine ministry

Twelve months ago, as we were poised to set up the Hub as a base of operations for many ministries, I asked the question “What are we building?” This weekend our council are gathering for a small retreat to consider this important question for our future. I reflected on some of these matters in the following article, […]

Continue Reading

Making disciples 1: turning up the heat

Dear brothers and sisters at Stromlo, I’ve now spent a fair bit of time pouring over your comments from church this week. Wow! Thank you for your thoughtful, honest, humble, reflective feedback. For the most part the feedback is raw and vulnerable. It’s not proud. It’s not self-satisfied. Yet neither is it defeatist or dismissive. I read the chorus of our feedback […]

Continue Reading

Pastoral care 4: in crisis and chronic

I’ve observed that churches and small groups usually respond well to crises. People rise to the occasion, they respond with generous practical displays of love and support. In fact, Christian fellowships are some of the best-equipped crisis care communities. What we don’t do so well is persevere with people when things become chronic. People whose […]

Continue Reading