Introduction Pastoral care and Counseling is one of the important ministries in the Church at any place in the world. Our churches are filled with people who experience crisis, lost, loneliness, anxiety, depression, divorced, and family problems. Pastors have a huge opportunity to help people just by listening and encouraging those in household of faith. In some cases it is just enough to listen and teach biblical principles of living but in the other cases there is the need to be specifically train people for a specialized ministry of counseling with deeper problems.
In the context of my Country, Russia, I choose three issues which mostly need response in the churches. These issues are Premarital Counseling, Marriage Counseling and Crisis care and Counseling. Most of the times we do not feel comfortable to talk about these issues on the church but it do not mean that the problems do not exist. To have a healthy church these issues need to be addressed and pastors need to learn how to approach people because the people are not going to approach pastors first and ask for help. Part I: Premarital Counseling
Psychologist Carl Rogers once gave a sobering perspective on marriage. “If 50-75 percent of Ford or General Motors cars completely fell apart within the early part of their lifetimes as automobiles,” Rogers wrote, “the public outcry would be overwhelming and drastic steps would be taken to correct the situation. ” But this happens to many marriages and hardly anyone rises any complain. Divorce is fre¬quent, fewer than half of the marriages that persist could be considered successful, and often couples seem unable or unwilling to correct the situation.
The same situation and attitude to marriage we have in Russian, people usually get marry in age of 20 and mostly marriages fail after first three years. When I was getting my bachelor degree, 90% of my classmates were getting married at ages of 20 – 21 but 95% of them got divorced in the senior year of College. I am talking about secular world and we may have a different statistics among Christians but the fact is that young people have no clue what marriage is about.
There are many reasons for the present instability of marriages, but one of the many causes of failure is built prima¬rily on sexual attraction, the desire to escape from a difficult home situation, a vague feeling of love, or some equally fleeting motive. Many marriage relationships are too flimsy to survive the pressures, challenges, and storms of daily living. Unprepared for the stresses or for the effort and determination required making mar¬riage work, many people prefer to give up and bail out. That which was meant to be meaningful and fulfilling thus becomes frustrating and personally devastating.
I believe that if the society in Russian would pay more attention on premarital counseling in the church and outside then the family institution would have grow stronger and that would lead the country to success because the foundation of any country is the family institution. Premarital counseling seeks to help individuals, couples, and groups of couples to prepare for and build happy, fulfilling, Christ-honoring, and successful marriages. There are many values in premarital counseling if it is done carefully and consistently by the pastor. One of these values is the satisfaction that it brings to him personally.
One pastor cannot change this societal attitude by himself, but each one can experience the inner reward of knowing he has done his part to change this pre¬vailing attitude. The values of premarital counseling are first of all to help the couple to approach marriage more realistically because they are aware of only two things that they are in love, and they want to spend their lives together. Another value of premarital counseling is that it affords each partner a better understanding of himself. A value of great importance is the knowledge that each partner gains of the other through the counseling process.
The pastor must help the partners to gain a greater understanding of the thought patterns of each other. Another practical value of premarital counseling is that partners can see the value of, and gain experience in the skill of communication. Finally, a great value of premarital counseling is that it helps persons to realistically determine if they are making the right choice regarding marriage. Reasons for premarital guidance Gary Collins outlines seven basic principles of premarital counseling that I found helpful in my context. These are: 1.
Unrealistic Expectations That Can Lead to Disillusionment. When they ap¬proach marriage, perhaps most people assume that they have unique relationships. Perhaps these expectations are changing now that marriage failures are so much taken for granted. Often there is impatience, insensitivity, self-centered, attitudes, inadequate skill in relating, and great disappointment and disillusionment when one’s expectations for marriage are not met quickly. Premarital counseling lets couples express, discuss, and realistically modify their expectations for marriage. 2.
Personal Immaturity That Can Lead to Insensitivity. Most 92% marriages in Russian happened because of pregnancy and this is the normal thing nowadays. It is not surprising that one’s attitudes and behavior within a marriage differ little from the characteristics that were brought to the relationship. If one or both of the participants are self-centered, hypercritical, impatient, competitive, or striving for status—that is, immature—before marriage, these traits will put a strain on marital stability later. People who are irresponsible before marriage tend to be irresponsible after the wedding.
Premarital counseling should seek to uncover and discuss the self-centered tendencies that put strain on a marriage. The couple must be taught how to resolve differences, and they must develop both sensitivity and a willingness to accept and meet each other’s needs. This involves giving freely to one’s mate just as Christ gave to us. 3. Changing Roles That Can Lead to Confusion. Confusion and conflict may follow when a man and woman each come to marriage with unclear roles and vague expectations about their own and each other’s responsibilities.
Differing assumptions and views about who is supposed to do what can lead to tension unless the couple has learned to communicate honestly, not defensively, and in loving way. Premarital counseling provides an opportunity for a couple to begin this type of communication. Together they can learn to discuss their different expectations and decide on areas of responsibility. Such role clarification must not ignore biblical teachings. According to Scrip¬ture, both the Christian husband and wife must be filled with the Spirit: daily confessing sin, giving thanks, and praying for the Holy Spirit to control each of their lives.
There also must be an attitude of mutual submission to each other, but the more stringent requirements are laid on the husband. The husband and wife are equally valuable and equally important in the building of a good marriage, but they have different responsibilities. 5. Loosening Sexual Standards That Can Lead to Immorality. Sex before marriage is not new and neither is it rare, even among Christians. But as a result of these more liberal attitudes, dating for many has become a time for exploring each other’s bodies and genitals instead of each other’s mind, feelings, beliefs, values, and expectations.
Sexual standards are loosening and premarital sex, even among Christians, appears to be more preva¬lent. Nevertheless the Bible still calls this immorality a violation of God’s best for our lives. Issues like this should be discussed honestly, faced compassionately, and examined biblically. 6. Previous Experiences That Can Lead to Overconfidence. Books on premarital counseling often assume that most couples are young, inexperienced, and entering their first marriage. This is not always true. Many prospective brides and grooms have been previously married.
Some previously married people recognize the need for new adjustments and appreciate the help that can come from a sensitive counselor. More often, it seems, people approaching remarriage resist premarital counseling and assume that it is unnecessary and only for those who have had no prior marital experience. The counselor can challenge unrealistic attitudes, help the couple see potential problems that even previously married people might miss, and guide them to resolve issues that may have been unresolved following the previous marriage. 7. Circumstances That Can Lead to Later Misery.
When they come to marriage, some people bring what one counselor calls red-flag situations that need special scrutiny and evaluation. Some of these circumstances were mentioned as pregnant bride, one or both participants on the rebound from a previous marriage or engagement, serious drug involvement, emotional problems or mental instability, serious mental or physical handicaps, no financial security, contrasting cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs, wide gaps in education or age differences, and knowing each other for a very short time. Many marriages do not survive.
Premarital counseling should not be viewed as a painful procedure designed to snatch unsuspecting couples from the grips of marital misery. Most premarital counseling is done, not with pathological people, but with relatively healthy indi¬viduals who can be helped to enhance and enrich a growing relationship. Format It should be obvious that a counselor cannot accomplish all of these purposes in one brief interview. Most writers recommend that there be at least five or six one-hour sessions prior to the wedding. This of course can be demanding.
It is easy for time pressures and counselee busyness to combine in convincing the counselor that a briefer period of premarital counseling would suffice. Try to resist that temptation. There is much to be discussed if a marriage is to be built on a solid foundation. The general goals according to Hamilton, include the following: (1) an understand¬ing of the meaning of marriage within the framework of biblical truth and Christian theology, (2) an understanding of the problems affecting marriage in contemporary culture, and (3) an understanding of the Christian concept of the value of human personality.
As the pastor deals with these broad concepts he seeks to expand his counselees’ awareness of the importance of marriage in the light of its biblical and historical roots, of the unique pressures being brought upon marriage in our times, and of Christianity’s view of the worth of persons. All of these goals are of vital importance in building a sound philosophy of marriage.
The specific goals, according to Hamilton, center in the following areas: (1) an understanding of each partner’s role-perception in the forth¬coming marriage, (2) an understanding of each partner’s role-expectation of the other, (3) an understanding of how each partner evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the other, (4) an understanding of the potential strengths and weaknesses of the proposed marriage, and (5) a careful examination of particular problems likely to arise.
The underlying, practical goal of all premarital counsel¬ing is twofold: (1) to enable the partners to pre-solve some potential marriage problems before they arise; and (2) to give the partners knowledge of, and experience in, the art of com¬munication, which is so necessary in the building of a rich and rewarding relationship. The pastor who wishes to do a creditable job of premari¬tal counseling should think in terms of at least three sessions: (1) one with the woman, (2) one with the man, and (3) one with both.
In each of the individual sessions the pastor will be engaging in four main functions: (1) listening, (2) question¬ing, (3) analyzing, and (4) teaching. Listening As in other types of counseling, the pastor needs to hear what is, and is not, being said. Only by careful listening can the pastor come to valid insights regarding the counselee’s real feelings about his personal relationship with the proposed marriage partner. Questioning Skillful use of questions enables the pas¬tor to gather the type of data he needs to help persons prepare for marriage.
Questioning will center in the two broad areas of facts and feelings. The area of facts will have to do with such aspects as how they met, how long they have known each other, how long they have dated, and when they plan to marry. The questioning should then move to the deeper level of feelings. This area has to do with such matters as the counselee’s true feelings about the idea of marriage, the de¬mands of marriage, his perception of his partner as a marriage mate, and his own feelings regarding his ability to be a suit¬able marriage partner.
The pastor should not hesitate to question his counselees regarding their feelings about every aspect of the marriage relationship including such matters as where they will live and in what kind of dwelling, how many children they want, where they will attend church, whether the wife will be em¬ployed outside the home (along with how long, how much, and what kind of work), how they will use their leisure time, where they will find their friends and how they will develop social relationships, how each feels about the husband’s job, and if either plans for further education.
He should also ex¬amine their attitudes toward in-laws, money, and sex. As the pastor probes the deeper levels of his parishioners’ feelings he gains the type and amount of information he needs as he pro¬ceeds to analysis. Analyzing After the data is sorted out and analyzed, the pastor is ready for a joint session (or sessions) with the partners. In most cases there will be some differences in how each partner perceives certain aspects of the future marriage. These are the areas that will need to be given special and care¬ful attention during the joint session.
It is at this time that the two partners will need to be shown the importance of com¬munication. It will also provide a rich opportunity for them to begin to develop new and better ways of communicating their feelings to each other. Teaching Lastly, the pastor engages in the function of teaching. The amount and type of teaching that is to be done will be determined by what the pastor has discovered in the individual counseling sessions. The broad areas covered in his teaching will usually include the Christian view of mar¬riage, the tatus of marriage in contemporary culture, the responsible use of sex, the basic differences in maleness and femaleness (most feel they understand the opposite sex but do not), and the art of communication. As a part of his teach¬ing function the pastor should be prepared to recommend and loan helpful books and articles in areas where the partners lack understanding. It is also important for the pastor to point out the value of a medical examination for the prospective bride, if not for both partners. Thorough work in premarital counseling may involve more than three counseling sessions, but that is the minimum.
While this is both time-consuming and exhausting, it is less so than marriage counseling. If a pastor does his premarital counseling work well he may be saving himself, or some other pastor or counselor, from involvement in more extensive mar¬riage counseling later on. Of greater significance, of course, is that premarital counseling helps couples to build the kind of relationships that are both solid and satisfying We have high incidences of divorce in the church in Russia particularly among young people because they are often pushed into early marriage by teenage pregnancies.
Such people do not have any opportunity for premarital counseling. The church often treat them with disdain and may not be readily open to give them some basic premarital counseling that would help sustain them when they get married. Part II: Marriage Counseling Marriage is not a very stable institution at least in the Western and Eastern worlds. In Russia the average duration of a marriage is only 5 years. More than a million couples are divorced every year. Many who stay together have marriages tolerable but not especially happy.
Even though happy marriages like these do exist and are possible, we live in a time when marital unhappiness is more common and where many see divorce as a convenient and ever-present fire escape should marital conflicts get too hot to handle. Marriage, the permanent union created by God, is treated more and more as a temporary arrangement of convenience. Marriage is one of the first topics discussed in the Bible. But what does the Bible say about marital problems and ways to help troubled mar¬riages? Almost nothing!
It should be remembered that marital conflict often is a symptom of something deeper, such as selfishness, lack of love, unwillingness to forgive, anger, bitterness, communication problems, anxiety, sexual abuse, drunkenness, feelings of inferior¬ity, sin, and a deliberate rejection of God’s will. Each of these can cause marital tension, each can be influenced by husband-wife conflict, and each is discussed in the Bible. The causes of marital problems Some common marital problems as found in Russian culture outline by Collins as follow: 1. Faulty Communication.
In the professional literature, this probably is the most commonly mentioned cause of marital discord. Citing James 4:1-3, psychologist Lawrence Crabb notes that communication problems inevitably result when people pursue self-centered goals, but sometimes problems also come because individuals have not learned how to communicate clearly and efficiently. Most of us would agree that occasional miscommunication between spouses is inevitable. When miscommunication is more common than clear communication, however, the marriage begins to have serious problems.
Poor communication tends to breed more of the same. Try to remember that communication is a learned interaction. Even when it is not good, people can learn to make it better. 2. Underintegrated or Overintegrated Relationships, Getting close to another person is risky. We open ourselves to criticism and possible rejection when we let another person know us intimately, he become aware of our insecurities, or see our weaknesses. Since most of us have learned the value of fending for ourselves, it is not easy to trust another person—even when that other person is a marriage partner 3 Interpersonal Tension.
When two people marry, each comes to the marriage with approximately two or more decades of past experiences and ways of looking at life. Each has perspectives that are not shared by the other and sometimes, even when there is a sincere desire for compromise or synthesis, couples still has diffi¬culty resolving their differences. What happens if there is unwillingness to change, insensitivity to the other person’s viewpoints, or a refusal to acknowledge the differences?
Often there is tension that frequently centers on one of the following issues: Sex: At times most couples have sexual problems. These include lack of accu¬rate knowledge, unrealistic expectations, fear of not being able to perform ade¬quately, differences in sexual drive, inhibiting attitudes about sex, and insufficient opportunities for privacy. Roles: We live at a time when traditional male-female roles are being reeval¬uated. This often leads to conflict over what it means to be a husband or wife. The society gives little guidance because opinions seem to be changing so rapidly.
Inflexibility: When a man and woman marry, each brings a unique personality to the marriage. Sometimes these personality differences complement each other and blend into a mutually compatible relationship. Often marriages take on personalities of their own, each of which can have strengths and weak points. There can be difficulties, however, if one or both of the partners is rigid, unwilling to give, or strongly resistant to change. Religion: The Bible warns of problems when a believer and an unbeliever try to live together in marriage.
Counselors have observed tensions when a husband and wife differ from each other in their denominational preferences, degree of com¬mitment to spiritual things, interest in religion, or expectations about the religious education of children. Sometimes these differences create tension in other areas such as choice of friends, views of ethics, whether and to whom charitable donations will be given, or the use of time on Sundays. Religion can be a binding, strengthening force in a marriage, but when a husband and wife have different viewpoints, religion can also be a destructive focus for marital tension.
Values: What is really important in life? How should we spend our time and money? What are our goals? These questions concern values. When a couple has similar values, the marriage is often healthy and growing. When values are in con¬flict, however, the relationship may be one of tension, power struggles, and mutual criticism. Value conflicts are at the heart of many marital problems. Consider, for example, how some of the following value alternatives could create potential for conflict. Functions of the Marriage Counselor The functions of the Marriage Counselor are: To hear the hurts that the counselees are feeling. In many cases these hurts have been intense, of long duration, and unexpressed to a third party. The reason that the counselor needs to hear the hurts is because the counselee feels his or her partner has not truly heard him or her. Attempts to be heard by his mate have been aborted, and this adds to his anxiety and frustration. When he feels that his counselor is getting his message and is feeling with him, he experiences the catharsis he needs in order to approach his problem more realistically. 2. To clarify problems.
Most persons who come for counsel are aware of symptoms but they do not understand what is producing those symptoms. Most people are so confused they do not know what their problem is until they visit a counselor. 3. To help in the understanding of roles. Most couples are confused of their roles. Be¬cause it is difficult for one to see the gap between his per¬ception of himself and his behavior, he feels that he is misunderstood if his mate points out this discrepancy to him. When both partners are thus criticizing each other, each feels mistreated and frustrated. . To fa¬cilitate communication. A communication problem happens when partners have unresolved conflict between them. The counselor helps deal with the conflicts then now they have free flow of communication. 5. To encourage change in perception and behavior. It is not enough for the counselor to hear hurts, clarify problems, aid in the understanding of roles, and aid in facilitating communication. He must help motivate the partners both to think themselves into a new way of behaving and to behave themselves into a new way of thinking.
Moti¬vation is usually achieved, at least to a degree, when feelings have been ventilated, the problem is seen in clearer perspec¬tive, and communication lines have been opened. Some marital problems in Russia are like an inflamed appendix, capable of killing but relatively simple to remove. Other problems will be of such depth and severity that the pastor will not be able to deal with them. This means that he will need to refer them to a professional counselor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The pastor need not feel defeated by his inability to help such persons.
If it is any comfort to him, he should be aware that some marital problems lie beyond the skill of even the best of professionals. Therefore, while he may be truly sorry that he is not able to help in some cases, he should not be embarrassed by this inability. Such failures should, however, encourage him to continue his study of counseling so that his knowledge will expand and his skills will increase. Part III: Care and Counseling in Crises Situation A crisis happens all the time in all cultures nobody is exempted from crisis: big or small, reach or poor, educated or uneducated.
A crisis is a part of our lives it is usually happen when person cannot solve the problems by himself. This is where pastoral service is required. A personal crisis develops in four stages: (1) the problem causes tension to the person. (2) Failure to respond to this need produce feelings of anxiety, confu¬sion, and guilt. (3) When this continues unsolved it develops into a crisis situation that may require external help. (4) If the problem is not resolved, the inner stress of unmet needs mounts until it reaches another threshold—the breaking point. This is full blown crisis.
Caplan in his book Principle of Preventive Psychiatry distinguishes two categories of crises Developmental and Accidental: Developmental crises are normal in the sense that they happen as an integral part of all or many people’s growth. Among these are birth, weaning, toilet training, the oedipal conflict, going to school, adolescence, leaving home, completing school, entering a vocation, engagement, marriage adjustment (or the adjustment of singlehood), pregnancy, parenthood, the middle-age crisis, loss of parents, menopause, retirement, death of spouse, death of friends, and eventually one’s own dying.
These stressful experiences are the occasions of crises for an individual to the extent that they pose problems for which her or his previous coping abilities are inadequate. Each developmental stage and crisis is the occasion for a variety of caring and counseling opportunities. Accidental crises can occur at any age, precipitated by unexpected losses of what one regards as essential sources of need satisfaction.
Precipitating experiences include all the life events listed on the Holmes-Rahe scale below, loss of status and respect; an accident or surgical operation; mental illness or alcoholism; a physical handicap; an unwanted pregnancy; a natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake; or a massive social calamity such as a war or economic depression. Crises can be triggered by seemingly positive changes such as a job promotion or graduation from college. All these events produce emotionally hazardous situations. Crises happen in people rather than to them, but they tend to occur in high-stress, emotionally hazardous situations.
A crisis is more than simply a time of danger, pain, and stress to be endured. It is important for the counselor to see that it is a turning point, a growth opportunity where persons move toward or away from greater personality strength and wholeness. This makes crisis counseling a strategic helping opportunity. Informal Crisis Counseling Much of the counseling done by pastors takes place in informal settings without being called counseling. This is what happen most in my context. Pastors meet a need a attend to it immediately without insisting that the person concerned must book an appointment before seeing him to discuss the issue.
Some occurs in the minister’s office or home when people drop by for a chat, without an appointment. By allowing the sensitivities and skills of counseling to permeate their many informal and chance encounters, ministers can help many times the number of people they could reach through formal counseling alone. While it is important that pastors should have some private time for themselves and family, it also important to have parishioners know that their pastor ordinarily is available when severe crises strike unexpectedly.
As ministers learn to recognize and utilize the pastoral care opportunities potentially present in many interpersonal contacts, this becomes a natural pastoral reflex. They discover frequent opportunities to do informal one-session crisis counseling during the ordinary encounters of parish life. Occasionally these will become formal and multiple-session counseling relationships. Informal counseling is informal in one or more of these ways – the setting may be anywhere—a street corner, a grocery store, a hospital room, the church lounge, a parishioner’s office or living room, in meeting, etc.
The counseling happens in the context of a relationship not identified as counseling—a chance encounter or a pastoral call, perhaps following a meeting or Sunday service. The person’s mind-set reflects this informal atmosphere. He/she probably thinks of what occurs as “talking over a problem with the pastor” rather than counseling. The structure and sequence of formal counseling interviews—appointments, stated time limits, and an agreed-upon series of sessions—are usually lacking. Such brief informal counseling can be very helpful to some people.
Informal crisis counseling opportunities occur frequently during a pastor’s home and hospital visits. Much of what is done during such calls is general pastoral care. It becomes a counseling issue when the counselee is aware of his /her problem and the pastor shows his willingness to help with the problem. The counselee is able to overcome his/her fear of disclosing the problem to another person with the hope that he/she is going to be helped in such action. Such confidence to disclose the problem does not normally come automatically. It comes with a lot of struggles.
Such persons often are receptive to informal counseling long before they enter formal counseling. Some people have great difficulty making a formal appointment for counseling, even when wrestling with very painful problems. They feel that to do so would be to admit failure, which would increase their feelings of low self-esteem and powerlessness. This is why the ability of pastors to go to people, make themselves emotionally available, offer help, and establish informal counseling relationships is a priceless professional asset, which should be used to the full!
How can ministers create opportunities, during their pastoral contacts, for care-giving conversations, informal and formal counseling? First, they know or suspect that such and such is in particular need of pastoral care—the bereaved, the sick, the unemployed, the depressed, the hospitalized, the disgruntled, those in psychotherapy, newlyweds, new parents, the recently retired, the handicapped, alcoholics and their families, the lonely, those with disturbed or handicapped children, and those who face painful crises and perplexing decisions.
An alert pastor often senses intuitively that a certain family is under extreme pressure. Such “pastoral care suspects” should go on the Special Help List. By devoting extra pastoral visitation time to these persons, ministers can build strong relationship bridges with them. Such relationship can bring pastoral care and informal counseling help to the troubled, and also make it easier for them to seek formal counseling. The building of relationship bridges with those who are likely to need help but are not yet motivated to seek it, are described by Seward Hiltner as precounseling.
The many interpersonal contacts of pastors contribute to this objective if people feel they are warm, nonjudgmental, caring, competent, shockproof, not “too busy,” and human—aware of their own humanity . Clinebell believes that, a pastor’s sensitivity to the subtle signs of distress is an asset in spotting potential counseling opportunities. Many ministers walk by on the other side of their parishioners’ Jericho Roads simply because they lack awareness. The pastor’s emotional radar antennas should be tuned to the wavelength of people in order to pick up subtle cries for help and coded “mayday” signals.
Clinebell highlights some basic typical distress signals that can help pastors understand people in need. These are: Embarrassment at the minister’s call: A frantic attempt to keep the conversation on the surface, avoiding all depth encounters. Depression: including such symptoms as sleeplessness; loss of interest in one’s usual pleasures; anxious agitation or heavy sluggishness; feelings of worthlessness, emptiness/meaninglessness or helplessness; a phony-fixed smile. Veiled antagonism between spouses: sometimes hidden behind saccharine-sweet surface behavior.
Emotionally disturbed children: including those with behavior problems, (which often reflect hidden marital unhappiness). Frequent intoxication: particularly at inappropriate times. A radical change in usual behavior: including church attendance. Irrational or frantically compulsive behavior. Guilty avoidance of the pastor. Affiliating with extremist political or religious groups. When such distress signals are identified, pastors should make every effort to be emotionally accessible to the persons and to offer help in a way that respects their right to refuse it.
A third way to open up informal and formal counseling opportunities is the judicious use of “openers”—questions or statements designed to interrupt superficial conversation and provide an opening for people to discuss their real feelings and issues if they choose. Here are some samples: “How are things going for you in this difficult situation? ” “What you’re saying feels very heavy. ” “How are things going with you really? ” “You seem to be feeling very discouraged (upset, angry, remorseful). ” “I get the feeling you have a burden on your mind. Although such openers may startle people initially, they express the pastor’s concern and by implication, offer help. A well-chosen question, asked with warmth and empathy, can help free people to talk about their burdens. A question about one’s spiritual health is as appropriate from a minister as is a question about one’s physical health from a family doctor. Conclusion Pastoral Care and Counseling ministry is the most important ministry next to the ministry of preaching of the Gospel. People who are hurting they are not be able to listen the Gospel without a healing balm of their wounds.
Only Pastors are caring such methods of healing. The Gospel itself addresses to totality of man: spiritual and body. When one part is addressed to the negligence to the other the total needs of man will not be made. Pastors who are sensitive to the hurts of members of their congregation and unable to address such hurts through the appropriate counseling technique are more likely to be successful in ministry then those who neglect these needs. The course Pastoral Care and Counseling has opened my understanding to these needs in our congregation. I got more focused in this area of ministry.
And I wish to pursue it in the future. Bibliography: Benner, David. Strategic Pastoral counseling. Michigan: Baker Book House,1998; Barister C. W . Pastoral care in the church. San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1992; Cavanagh, John. Fundamental Pastoral Counseling. Ireland: The mergier press, 1963; Cobb, John. Theology and Pastoral Care. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979; Collins, Gary. Christian Counseling . Dallas: Word Publishing, 1988; Clinebell Haward. Basic Types of Pastoral care and Counseling. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992; Hamilton, James. The ministry of Pastoral Counseling. Michigan: Baker Book House 1975.