Caring for others within the church context is both a wonderful privilege and an essential task. Yet there are so many pitfalls in the caring for people in our community. Here are some observations that you might find helpful if you are part of a pastoral care team, or a small group leader.
1. Don’t become a substitute saviour
• We cannot change people/attitudes
• We are just instruments that God can use
• Humility and dependency is needed
2. Don’t let guilt dictate and motivate
• You do what you do for Him
• Your worth is not entangled in your success
• What is God doing, saying & showing?
3. Don’t become a makeshift professional
• You are not a counsellor
• You are not a financial expert
• You are not a medical expert
• Listen, encourage, pray, involve
4. Don’t neglect your own time, family, health, spirituality
• Learn to sort out priorities
• Learn to set clear boundaries
• If empty push the ‘pause’ button
• God is sovereign and resourceful
5. Don’t function in isolation in the church
• Ask: what can the Body do?
• Ask: what can the small group do?
• Ask: what can the staff do?
• Our gifts and needs are matched by God
6. Don’t do something for others that they can do for themselves
• Set people small targets/tasks
• Ask them if they have done them
• If not, reiterate again and only meet with them after they do it
7. Don’t insist in running against the wall
• Accept that sometimes people don’t want to change
• Accept that sometimes it’s not the right place and time
• Accept that sometimes you are not the right person