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People regularly indicate caring is awkward and uncomfortable!
The combination of good intentions and ‘good' people does not inevitably equate to loving and caring for people as Jesus commands. As a result, without a clear sense of purpose and fundamental training, people regularly do and say things that are inept and which come across as insensitive.
For example, the natural human tendency is to:
- Fixate on people’s problems and struggles.
- Associate caring with tasks, programs, and pastor visits.
- Focus on 'good deed' - practical and social support.
- Ask questions to satisfy our curiosity.
- Share platitudes, give unsolicited advice, and attempt to ‘fix it’ or ‘make it better.’
Scripture, however, teaches otherwise. We know from the Bible:
- Caring focuses on people - their heart and soul.
- Caring is about ‘loving people’ and 'growing in unity and [spiritual] maturity.’
- Jesus is the only one who can calm our storms, save us, and offer us true hope.
- Caring emphasizes emotional support and spiritual encouragement.
- It is caring to express sympathy, listen, share an encouraging Word, and pray with and for people.
TESTIMONIAL: Having personally suffered a significant loss, I could write a book on all things people do and say that are more hurtful than helpful! Caring is about loving one another, not simply following lists of things "to do" and what not to say. Whether a pastor, church leader, or member of a congregation, EVERY Christian really needs to know and understand the biblical teachings and embrace the core biblical principles included in your Caring Fundamentals training series!
What do you do and say when people are struggling?
Part of what makes care challenging is that our ingrained beliefs about caring ministry (aka, congregational care, pastoral care) are frequently inconsistent with Scripture. Knowing that our perceptions influence our behaviors, a crucial first step is uncovering what people believe and why.
Which of the following six photos do you believe most represents ‘care’ or ‘caring’ and why?
Click HERE for a summary of what each photo tends to suggest and how our beliefs are often a barrier to caring in ways that align with Scripture.
TESTIMONIAL: "Your resources and step-by-step approach have opened our eyes and empowered us to evaluate our current efforts and align caring with the mission of our church. You made what appeared to be an ominous process simple and straightforward. Having the right tools and training has made all the difference."