THE LOOP

Update: Pastoral Care

by | Apr 7, 2024

Most people will be aware that over this last term, we’ve been holding a number of evening meetings to explore pastoral care in the life of the church. Honestly, it’s been so heartwarming to see the number of people attending and then to read/hear the responses that I’ve received. What a wonderful sign of the love and care that is already being expressed in the church. Praise God!

As we’ve tried to say on a number of occasions, the purpose of setting up a pastoral core team is not to try and stop or interfere with all the beautiful ‘organic’ care that is happening across the life of the church (e.g. the informal prayers, phones calls, dropping in and seeing people, etc). In fact, that’s the last thing that we want to do! The reason for setting up a pastoral care team is to try and provide enoughorganisation’ (or systems) so that people don’t fall through the cracks in the church community. When a church is stable (neither growing or declining) it’s quite easy to keep a track on people, because there are strong and consistent webs of relationships. However, when that changes, the level of organisation needs to increase. Why? Because you can’t rely upon history and well-established relationships to facilitate just organic care

Now I’m not sure if you’ve been observing, but there is a steady (increasing?) flow of new people coming to ECC. This is wonderful news, but does come with a responsibility! Recently, Chris and I sat chatting on a Monday after a multisite Sunday. We realised that at both sites there were a good number of new people! This is really encouraging, but we only need a few months of this and the relational landscape of the church will change, leading to a need for more organisation (or systems) to ensure people don’t drop through the cracks. 

As a result, we’re in the process of pulling together a small-ish pastoral core team who will look to coordinate the more organised pastoral care across the church. The team will meet monthly to coordinate things but also look to grow skills and expertises that we are going to need for the more complex nature of some pastoral care situations. We’re also hoping to relaunch the one-to-one groups that Dot Ingram set up a couple of years ago. However, this time it will be for men and women (obviously still keeping them as single sex pairings). We’ve also got a growing list of people who are willing to visit people at home and in hospital. So, lots is happening on the pastoral care front. But what can you do?

  1. Pray for the newly-forming core team (I’ll be able to share the names when we have had further conversations).
  2. Pray for the home and hospital visitors.
  3. Pray for the relaunch of the one-to-one groups.
  4. Pray for the organic pastoral care that is already happening across the church.
  5. Pray for wisdom as we look to help newer people find their feet and become part of the life of the church.
  6. Maybe you would like to be more involved in pastoral care than you currently are? If so, drop me a line and we can have a chat adam@emmanuelcc.co.uk.

Finally, hopefully you know that you can always grab one of the elders (or phone us) about any pastoral care concerns. However, if you find in-person or the phone tricky then we’ve set up a new email address. It’s super simple to remember: care@emmanuelcc.co.uk. At present the only people who have access to this are Chris Johnson and myself. At a later stage we might ask someone else from the pastoral core team to help administer this email address but before we do that we would let the church family know.

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