Thursday, November 21, 2013

Yes, I Still Care

As I reflected about my post last week: Who Cares?, I began to wonder if I didn't overstep my bounds.  Some may see this post as an attempt to cover my tail, and in some ways perhaps it is.  But I think I need to add these words to further define my role/a pastor's role in caring for members in a congregation.

My entire goal in the previous post was to encourage all members within congregations to care for one another and not view such care as exclusive to the pastor/clergy.   Jesus didn't say, "Clergy members are to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned."  (paraphrasing the end result of Matthew 25)  Not at all.  Jesus called all of His followers to do such things.

Clergy are not singled out nor exempted.

Which means that I believe clergy are indeed called to model and equip others on how to care for one another in a congregational setting.
  • This means clergy/I should/will continue to visit the sick.
  • This means clergy/I should/will continue to counsel people when in need.
  • This means clergy/I should/will continue to check on people who are undergoing long-term treatments.
  • This means clergy/I should/will continue to be with families who lose a loved one and endure the grief process.
  • This means clergy/I should/will continue to receive and make phone calls when a need arises.
I do not believe clergy/I are/am ever exempted from doing these things.  Whenever clergy cease to interact with people--real people who inhabit the church pews/seats on Sunday morning, then I think they become more CEO, executive types.   Now, such types may be necessary in mega-churches, but I have my doubts.

I think one can still head a large organization and still have plenty of personal contact with those in need.

I hope no one viewed my post as an attempt to say, "I don't need to care."  Far be it from that.  In reality, it was a desire to expand the view and show that the responsibility for care falls not on one but upon all.