Biblical Pastoral Care and Counselling
Biblical pastoral care makes use of a variety of approaches. Despite a basic premise that exists as a result of the Church’s unity in Christ and the acceptance of the Bible as an absolute standard, Biblical Pastoral Caregivers differ in personality, training, experience, the setting in which they operate and the type of clients whom they minister to them.
Biblical Pastoral Care is unique because it accepts the Bible as the absolute authority. Christians are not left to be tossed to and fro in this world. They allow the Holy Spirit to guide them through the Word of God and do not rely on their conscience to be able to direct their behaviour. If their conscience is consistent with God’s Word, it is valid. The Bible not only offers insight into human behaviour but also puts everything in perspective for believers.[shareable]Biblical Pastoral Care is unique because it not only depends on man’s will but also the enabling inherent power of the Holy Spirit to overcome human challenges.[/shareable]
Whatever the case, through God’s power, we do not have to be slaves to a weak will, our past, or socio-economic conditions. Although problems don’t just vanish, when we accept Christ, we do receive new power to handle them. The Holy Spirit gives us the victory over the sinful nature.
Biblical pastoral care is unique because it adequately addresses the client’s past. Because a disciple of Jesus Christ receives forgiveness for their sinful behaviour, they experience freedom from guilt and can, therefore, look forward to the future. Although some events in the past require insight and specific prayer to overcome rejection and resentment, believers still have a secure position in Christ that enables them to rise above the hurt and humiliation of yesterday.
Biblical Pastoral Care is unique because it is based on God’s love. God loves us (1 Joh 4:10), and as His love flows through us, we love others, and we care about them (Rom 12:9-21). A Biblical Pastoral Caregiver has a special feeling for, and a spiritual relationship, with other people. He/She also helps them to grow in Christ while they systematically assist in a process to solve problems.
Biblical Pastoral care is unique because it addresses a person in totality and maintains a balance between the past and present.
The Biblical Pastoral Caregiver is aware that the physical, psychic and spiritual aspects of the man are intertwined with each other. Biblical Pastoral Care strives to address present behaviour; very often it is appropriate to deal with the unresolved issues of the past. For the Christian, the past (and future) is naturally forgiven. Although God has forgiven the past, feelings of guilt can still haunt the individual consciously or unconsciously, and it must be addressed during Pastoral guidance.
Biblical Pastoral Care is unique, because it is a balance between emotions and behaviour, with the Bible as the benchmark. It can therefore not be seen as the medical profession, but as Spiritual Bible-based ministry under the authority of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Although an extreme in secular counselling solely focuses on feelings and the other on behaviour, the Biblical Pastoral Caregiver treats both. It is important that clients should be allowed to verbalise their feelings. It helps them to deal with the internalised anger that causes depression while also bringing anxiety from the subconscious to the conscious where it can be treated appropriately according to Scripture. “And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God”(Rom 12:2).
Biblical Pastoral Care is always supported by a statement of faith and a recognition of the responsibility to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ to a broken world.