Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care or the Care and Cure of Souls

One of the leadership gifts mentioned by St. Paul in Ephesians 4:11-16 is that of the Pastor-Teacher. This is often thought to mean a Shepherd of the Flock of God. That meaning would have spoken deeply to my neighbors in rural Illinois who raised cattle and sheep, but to urban Christians it is confusing. A Pastor feeds the people with the bread of spiritual life and teaches them what God wants for His people. Jesus, the Greatest Pastor, Teacher and Healer showed us what it means in His activities with the Disciples.

Jesus trained the Disciples primarily through modeling, dialogue and practical experiences rather than lengthy sermons and memorizing materials. He cared for the people by hanging out and interacting with people during the ups and downs of life and showed them compassion and love during a large variety of physical, emotional and spiritual states. Sometimes Jesus was tender, circumspect and merciful and at other times he was very direct and challenging. Jesus was a genius who chose to vary his approach according to the status of the audience. He was as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove.

Jesus was also wholistic in his approach to teaching and healing. He sometimes focused on the inner life of the soul and at other times he focused on the body by raising people from the dead or a disease. He called for people to confess, repentant and repay what they had stolen. In short, Jesus dealt with the whole person and their whole life space past, present and future.

Pastoral Care, Inner Healing or the Care of Souls continues the goal of Jesus. He quoted Isaiah 61 on the day of his inauguration. (Luke 4:16-19) And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Sweeten Life attempts to strengthen the hearts and hands of those gifted and called leaders who continue the ministry of Jesus in the care and cure of souls. We research needs and develop effective wholistic interventions with powerful Christ centered materials. We also teach and coach leaders on what is most effective in bringing positive Christian change. Our resources focus on  improving our relationship with God, self and others.

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