Three Obstacles to Pastoring and Caring for the Flock
An attitude that basically says, “It’s none of your business,” or “It’s my problem and I’ll deal with it my way.”
The result is that people are islands of festering wounds. They are isolated, diseased, and malnourished (and either deny it or don’t know it). Thus, most pastoral care is crisis oriented. Pastors and elders are not called in to help (or do not engage [pastoral leadership that is too passive]) until the crisis is well developed.
- Get off the crisis/counseling treadmill.
- Get Up-stream and do some preventative counseling.
- Add some 6 months check ups to your care routine.
- Spiritual Inventory tool. (contact me)
2. Cultural Egalitarianism
“Nobody can tell me.”
The self as the sovereign over the universe. This can be in the form of unresponsiveness to counsel from any source; the young not wanting to receive counsel from the old, old not wanting to receive counsel from the young, experience to inexperienced. “I will be sovereign,” mindset.
- Pray for their humiliation. Honestly. Pray that they would be humiliated in their pride and becoe teachable.
- Patient instruction (2 Tim. 4:2b). Be prepared to be patient.
- Consistent, loving, confrontation.
3. Our Therapeutic Culture
“My therapist says;” or “Doctor Dobson says”; “Minereth/Meyer says”; or “Steve Arterburn, says” or “Promise Keeper’s” or “codependency theory says” or “My AA sponsor says” or “The Big Book says” or “Henry says I need to set up Boundaries in my life,” or “pastor so and so (their favorite radio or TV preacher) says” etc.
People who are bound up in this problem are living from within a worldview and language that seems plausible to them but is rarely grounded thoroughly in the word of God. They use a kind of code language that justifies bad behavior in light of their past, their experience, their pain, their genes, their parents, or their favorite teacher, etc.
- Pray for seeing eyes and trusting hearts.
- Develop and teach a sound theology of suffering.
- Remember, all their lives people have been told by their culture, their schools and their own sinful hearts that “the problem” is “out there” rather than within their own hearts. This has led them to the mistaken notion that a change of situation or association is going to solve their problem. They are quick to run. (This is not to deny that all of those things, [culture, bullies, abusers, family, sins against them by others] play their part in effecting behavior and thought but to put them all in a more balanced place.)
- The reality is that, “Not every problem admits to an engineering solution.” (Ken Meyers)
 Stimulated by the 2000 and 2001 Bethlehem Conferences for Pastors.