I am delighted to see the critical thinking and theological reflection going on in our class thus far. I wanted to share something with you that has been on my heart.
My goal is for you to leave this course with the material in hand so you can begin pastoral care and counseling with an adaptable template. You can personalize and contextualize it, but you will have something in your hands when you leave. Of course, we want that “something “to be biblical, Christ-centered, faithful, empathetic, and gracious. I want to add to the material you have with something I use in pastoral counseling. It follows the four-fold approach to worship in the counseling encounter. You will see it expressed in the graphic on this post. I refer to this approach as the “Four-fold Steps to the Ministry of Presence.” Moving from Entrance to Word and Table (that is, not the Lord Supper in the case of pastoral care and counseling, but of the reality of the presence of Jesus Christ, and inviting his presence into the encounter), and Dismissal (which provides a way to bring closure to a given meeting, with blessing and prayer). I hope this will help you as you move through the role-playing later in the course.
You can visit the website here and think through the pastoral care moment using the four-fold steps to the ministry of presence: https://kennedyinstitute.net/pastoral-care-steps.
Our dear Father in Heaven: I pray for our Pastoral Care and Counseling class. I asked that they grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and that the material they are receiving may be used to advance the gospel. Strengthen them in this core competency of the Pastoral Ministry so that they will be equipped to assess, diagnose, and apply Biblical healing to the pathologies of the human soul. In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.