Reflections on Pastoral Care, Discipleship and Well-being (Shalom) – [November 2018]

 

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There are lots of different understandings of what pastoral care and discipleship should look like within a local church. This is an attempt to define this for Hope Church. Our preferred term is well-being (shalom).

 

Aim :- To create a community  that will enable church members and those we are serving, to grow and thrive in experiencing well-being and wholeness in Christ (shalom).

Within our overall vision to be –

A growing community of people – from different backgrounds, stages of life and experiences, including the vulnerable – who are one family in Christ Jesus

 

The concept of well-being encompasses the physical, mental and emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of health. This concept is recognised by the World Health Organisation.

 

 

We need all 4 walls of well-being within our community; physical, mental and emotional, social, and spiritual in a healthy balance.

 

Jesus helped people by looking at the whole person e.g. addressing physical healing but also spiritual issues and social consequences. E.g. in Luke 17, Jesus heals 10 lepers (physical) He sent them to the priest (social) so they would be accepted back into society and He told the thankful leper who returned, his faith had made him well (spiritual) but it also affected him emotionally as he was praising God. He spoke about His followers loving each other well, forgiving well taking care of each other serving each other.

 

The early christian church grew because the christians took care of each other and others around during times of plague.

 

The Maslow Hierarchy of needs says that unless of physical needs are met, food, water, warmth, rest, we are not able to focus on the other needs. We are serving an increasing number of the poor whose basic needs are not being met, and who view life differently.

In seeking to create a community that enables well-being we must remember the vulnerable / poor – Galatians 2v10.

 

POOR MIDDLE CLASS (COMFORTABLE) WEALTHY
POSSESSIONS People. Things. One-of-a-kind objects, legacies, pedigrees.
MONEY To be used, spent. To be managed. To be conserved invested.
PERSONALITY Is for entertainment. Sense of humor is highly valued. Is for acquisition and stability.
Achievement is highly valued.
Is for connections. Financial, political, social connections are highly valued.
SOCIAL EMPHASIS Social inclusion of people they like. Emphasis is on self-governance and self-sufficiency Emphasis is on social exclusion.
FOOD Key question:  Did you have enough? Quantity important. Key question:   Did you like it? Quality important. Key question: Was it presented well? Presentation important.
CLOTHING Clothing valued for individual style and expression of personality. Clothing valued for its quality and acceptance into norm of middle class. Label important Clothing valued for its artistic sense and expression. Designer important
TIME Present most important. Decisions made for moment based on feelings or survival. Future most important. Decisions made against future ramifications. Traditions and history most important. Decisions mad partially on basis of tradition and decorum.
EDUCATION Valued and revered as abstract but not as reality. Crucial for climbing success ladder and making money. Necessary tradition for making and maintaining connections.
DESTINY Believes in fate. Cannot do much to mitigate chance. Believes in choice. Can change future with good choices now. Noblesse oblige.
LANGUAGE Casual register. Language is about survival. Formal register. Language is about negotiation. Formal register. Language is about networking.
FAMILY STRUCTURE Tends to be matriarchal. Tends to be patriarchal. Depends on who has money.
WORLD VIEW Sees world in terms of local setting. Sees world in terms of national setting. Sees world in terms of international view.
LOVE Love and acceptance conditional, based upon whether individual is liked. Love and acceptance conditional and based largely upon achievement. Love and acceptance conditional and related to social standing and connections.
DRIVING FORCE Survival, relationships, entertainment. Work, achievement. Financial, political, social connections.



Looking at the last row for example, it illustrates that the driving forces of the poor are survival, entertainment and relationships whereas for the middle class, the criteria against which most decisions are made relate to work and achievement. For the wealthy, decisions are considered based on the effect on finance, political and social connections.

Using money for security is grounded in the middle class and wealthy. Those in poverty see money as an expression of personality and it is used for entertainment and relationships.

Words are used to resolve conflict by negotiation in the middle class and wealthy but what if you don’t have the necessary words or even respect them if you are in poverty? Violence is often the way to resolve issues.

There is a danger that a church which is mostly ‘middle-class’ will assume their hidden rules apply to the poor. They will create plans and strategies based on their rules and will only really accept people into their group that understand and conform to the hidden rules. If you really want the church to be for all, then something has to change…

 

From A Framework for Understanding Poverty Dr Ruby, 17/10/2016

 

There are many things already in place that contribute to well-being, shalom, some through community areas, others through Open House. We do not want to duplicate or reinvent the wheel as there are several Christian and non-Christian programmes and organisations that have expertise and can contribute towards well-being and shalom. It is important to work in partnership where possible and sign-post people as appropriate and work to strengthen our relationships.

 

Examples of others we are working with.

Azalea; Noah; Signposts; Walk to Freedom; Lighthouse Ministries; Christian Counsellors; Foodbank; Red Cross.

 

CURRENT ACTIVITIES – (partnerships in brackets)

 

Courses

 

Freedom in Christ Grace course

Freedom in Christ Discipleship course

Alpha course

1 to 1 Foundations course

Marriage Course

Understanding Islam

Forgotten God

Joining the family

IT courses (Noah)

First aid Training (Red Cross)

Internet courses e.g. Food health and hygiene training.

 

Activities

 

Sport activities e.g. walks, bowling, fishing, football, cricket, Zumba, exercise classes

Cultural activities e.g. museum visits, film nights, singing group, poetry

Arts activities e.g. train club, art group, knitting, sewing, DIY group

Bible Storytelling group.

Board games, table tennis, pool etc.

Shared meals, BBQ, Volunteering opportunities

Hope Men United

Women’s breakfast

Holiday Clubs

 

General support

 

Practical acts of kindness, Lifts, Meals for sick or stressful situations, Cards, Baby sitting

Support for carers of those who are long term sick, eg. respite, meals, prayer, etc.

Bereavement support marriage/divorce support.

Open house meals 1 to 1 listening.

Clothing store at building Resources on mental health issues.

Friendship / befriending Hospital visiting

 

Crisis support

Food bank Debt advice

(Noah) (Signposts)

 

Specialist Support

Us

Courageous Exchange (men)

Breaking the silence (book to help those who have experienced child sexual abuse)

Freedom and healing, 1 to 1 freedom in Christ appointment, hearing God prayer model,

Freedom books available

Others

G P Christian counsellor

Azalea Lighthouse ministry freedom prayer

Dementia Café Autism Beds

Marriage counselling 12 steps addiction program

CBT   Housing signpost                                                      

 

Prayer and worship

Small groups Sunday morning 10.30am

4pm service Prayer in open house

Hope Church Centre prayer Tuesday and Wednesday 9.30am -10am

Prayer walking An evening in his presence.

Christian meditation      

 

There are many other ministries to develop or signpost e.g.

Later life group/ activities, support. Prophetic prayer session      

Resources page on website – imminent Healing prayer session                

Diet/ healthy eating club Ladies unashamed course   

Stop smoking course – imminent Body image coaching

Car maintenance lesson Washing clothes facility – imminent

Same sex attraction support   Transgender support

Book club Post abortion support

Parents and baby group Form filling and letters support

Signposting board and resource area.- imminent Healthy cooking lessons

Parenting course