Your passion is pastoral care. When asked to shepherd a new Christian or a Christian who has hit some rough spots in life you consider it a privilege. You never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit and your role in the life of someone that God brings into your sphere of influence.
Several thoughts to consider when serving people in the name of Christ.
“If your gift is serving others, serve them well.” (Romans 12:7)
1. Point others to Jesus and away from yourself.
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30)
If you have the gift of pastor/shepherd be reminded that people need the Great Shepherd, Jesus, more than they need you.
2. Point others to God’s Word.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
3. Set healthy boundaries. You should not be available 24/7.
You don’t want to create a co-dependent situation.
4. Talk less, listen, and pray.
“You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak…” (James 1:19)
“Never stop praying.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
5. Avoid trying to say something profound.
God uses pain and problems to propel people towards Himself. Trying to rescue people from pain may actually be a hindrance to what God is trying to do in their lives.
6. Assess willingness to change.
“…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Romans 12:2)
If a person is not willing to change then your counsel falls on deaf ears. It’s God’s job to transform attitudes and behaviors.
7. Don’t carry the burden and responsibility of a person’s suffering alone. Allow others to be a part of the solution.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.” (Psalm 55:22)
“Share each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
As the saying goes, “Many hands make the workload light.”
9. Don’t be judgmental.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
10. Give God time to work.
Avoid making assumptions, or giving advice quickly.
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13)
Keep These Things In Mind As You Serve Others
-Pride is always lurking at the door waiting to make you feel more important than you really are.
-Confidentiality is critical in building and maintaining trust between you and the individual you are shepherding.
-Be willing to intervene when necessary when it becomes evident that a person is causing harm to himself or another; and/or if they are in a dangerous situation.
-Don’t rush in and rescue an emotionally wounded person. Sometimes God does His best work when a person is at their weakest point in their life.
-Count it a privilege if God gives you an opportunity to be a part of the healing process in someone’s life.
“For even the Son of man came not to be served but to serve others…” (Mark 10:45)