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Collaboration with the Minister
Support and Caring in Congregations, Support and Caring in Congregations

A comfortable working relationship with the minister

is essential for the successful operation ion of a Pastoral Care Team

and the health of the church. The minister and the Pastoral Care Team

have to be seen as working hand in hand, one the extension of the

other, in order for the congregation to feel the security of an overall

integrated caring presence.

Whether the Pastoral Care Team is initiated by the minister or a

lay person is not as important as the ability of the two to support

each other; communicate openly about what each are doing, and find a

comfortable division of responsibilities that work to extend the caring

ministry to the church community. Initially the responsibilities of the

Pastoral Care Team need to be clearly defined, as well as the method in

which the activities of the Pastoral Care Team will be reported to the


In programs like ours where the duties of the minister and the

Pastoral Care Team may overlap, like visiting the ill in the hospital

or supporting members going through a life crisis, the reporting to the

minister needs to be more frequent Our minister receives a print out of

everyone we are seeing and which member of the Team is working with

that person, once every two weeks. The minister attends some of our

Pastoral Care meetings. He is free to call any member of the Team to

inquire how any given person may be doing. The coordinator keeps the

minister aware of any new person who has become ill and the minister in

turn notifies the coordinator when help is needed. The coordinator of

the Team needs to be sensitive to the areas of pastoral care that the

minister feels is his/her domain and this will vary from minister to

minister. The need for clearly defined areas of responsibility must be

intentionally and carefully discussed between the coordinator and the

minister as an ongoing topic for open and frank discussion.

For his/her part, the minister needs to encourage, support, and

enable the Pastoral Care Team to develop:

  • Their full potential given the

    goal of providing the most comprehensive, caring ministry circumstances

    will permit. The working relationship between the minister and the

    Pastoral Team will evolve over time particularly if the Pastoral

    Care Team starts small.

  • Does a good job which gains the trust of the

    minister and the congregation, and keeps the minister informed through

    clearly defined and mutually agreed upon channels of communication.

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