A New Paradigm for Pastoral Care: An Interactive Application of Ephesians 4:11-15
As I listened to Dr. William Evans during his closing address as the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church's Moderator of General Synod in June, 2006, it was not long before I realized that Dr. Evans was speaking for the need of this work. He spoke of empowering the people of the church to be more than what they were. While it was an encouraging presentation, it was also clear that we were not the denomination/pastors we needed to be. He said that the world is full of leaders who are driven by personal ambition - ministers included. He added that we have a higher calling and we must be driven by three things - the mission of the church, the mission of the church and finally the mission of the church. l As for pastors, the mission of the church includes preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and empowering the saints for works of service.
This dissertation describes the desire to create a new paradigm for pastoral care; a new paradigm that leads a pastor to be interactively involved with the people as they are empowered to facilitate the ministries of the church. The pastor's ministry begins in the pulpit, preaching the very Word of God. The pastor, however, cannot and should not stop there. This dissertation will encourage the pastor to move out into the field and bring the Word preached, tangibly into the life of the church and therefore into the lives of the people. The ministries of the church become a place of continued instruction.
Ephesian 4: 11-12 implores the pastor: to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. The administrative committees and church ministries provide an ample opportunity for the pastor to fulfill this charge.