Pastoral Health & Care Ministry
Pastoral Health and Care Ministry provides a balanced and holistic ministry that does not wait for a problem to occur in order to respond with Christs’ love. Rather it takes an approach that seeks to empower people to discover God’s gifts within themselves to prevent suffering as well as alleviating it when problems arise. Pastoral Health and Care Ministry is a Christian response to living a just and righteous life (Micah 6:8).
The ‘health’ focus of Pastoral Health and Care Ministry includes the many proactive activities the Christian faith community undertake that promote health and wellbeing. These incorporate the values, beliefs and practices that motivate and promote wholeness. They are integrated to inform the continuum of life from conception, birth, development and maturation, and include delay, decline, illness and death. Health ministry seeks to facilitate shalom, promote wholeness, prevent disease, injury and abuse, enable coping, nurture faith, ignite hope, demonstrate love, expedite healing, and cultivate relationships within the person (body, mind and spirit), between the person and others, between the person and the creation, and between the person and God.
The ‘care’ focus of Pastoral Health and Care Ministry includes the reactive activities the Christian faith community undertakes to restore health and wellbeing. They are intentional responses to identified needs within our community that foster interdependence, mutuality, compassion and healing.
This relationships is illustrated below:
Activities undertaken by Pastoral Health and Care Ministries are focussed on Biblical principles and can be organised into 3 key foci:
- Be carefree – promoting health of body, mind and spirit for individuals and communities
- Be careful – preventing illness/disease, injury, disconnection and relationship breakdown, abuse and suffering across the lifespan
- Be caring – providing compassionate caring activities aimed at restoration and healing
Benefits for the church:
- to help individuals and communities be good stewards of their health, which enables them to fulfil God’s purpose in their lives in order to fulfil the mission and ministry of their church
- HCM fulfils a core function of Christian life to “Love one another” mandated by Jesus in the Bible demonstrating God’s kingdom has come now and will be fulfilled in eternity.
- Compassionate care tills the ‘soil of the heart’, so the ‘seed of the gospel’ can more readily grow
- A caring community will thrive and stand out like a beacon in the world, drawing hurting people into the light of Jesus’ healing love.
Abridged from van Loon A. (2014) Fact Sheet 1: Health and Care Ministry, SA: Baptist Care SA IncShare This