Giving pastoral care is many a pastor's joy and heartache-joy, because there are few things more rewarding than one-to-one spiritual encounters; heartache, because there are so many questions that attend the complex task. The latest volume in LEADERSHIP'S Mastering Ministry series, Mastering Pastoral Care, (authored by Bruce Larson, Paul Anderson, and Doug Self) addresses such concerns. The following is an excerpt.
My first church out of Princeton Seminary was in Binghamton, New York, where I was associate pastor. My wife, Hazel, and I had been married during my last year of seminary, and ten months later our first baby arrived. Four months after that, a second baby was on the way. All the changes in our lives took a toll. Mad and frantic, and with our marriage in serious trouble, we reached out in desperation to two lay couples in the church who were also new parents. "We're going through a terrible time," we confessed.
They surprised us by saying, "So are we!"
So we decided to meet with ...1