Pastoral Care: The Core of Christian Ministry
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The modern idea of pastoral care is care of people who are in crisis. In this insightful book, author David Pettett argues that rather than being confined to helping people in crisis, pastoral care is actually at the core of Christian ministry. Every aspect of what the pastor does is pastoral care. Pastoral care is first and foremost a spiritual discipline and remains firmly in the realm of theology, not psychology.
As pastoral care is an exercise of practical theology, Christian pastoral care is the responsibility, first and foremost, of the pastor who has responsibility for the cure of souls. This responsibility is exercised primarily in a theological framework.
In Pastoral Care: The Core of Christian Ministry, the main aim is to encourage pastor/teachers to see their entire ministry in terms of pastoral care. Equipping the saints for the work of ministry for building the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12) is the work of pastoral care, which the pastor/teacher does by teaching the Scriptures. The book seeks to encourage a reversal of this alarming modern trend, which sees pastoral care as only something done for people in crisis.
The book also seeks to reverse the trend of outsourcing pastoral care to counsellors and psychologists. It seeks to broaden the focus so that pastoral care is seen to be the whole essence of pastoral ministry. Pastoral care has a whole-of-life focus. From his long experience of Christian ministry, David illustrates practical pastoral care with real life situations. This is a book for pastors to consider the essential nature of Christian ministry and for lay people to think through just what their pastors are up to.
About the author
David Pettett has been ‘Pastoral and Church Focused Ministries’ Moderator at the Australian College of Theology (ACT) since 2016. From his own experience of many years in pastoral ministry, from his development of courses in pastoral care and from his teaching of pastoral care, David is well qualified in this important field of Christian studies. David’s work as Moderator provides him the opportunity to have some input into the development of units in pastoral care in the 16 theological colleges around Australia which make up the consortium of the ACT. This role has given David valuable insights into the strengths and areas needing development in students’ academic and practical work in pastoral care.
The book on pastoral care he has written directly targets some of the areas needing development in students’ academic and practical work in pastoral care. His focus on a thorough exegesis of Ephesians 4:11 has developed a detailed understanding of the gift of Christ to His church, which forces attention onto the integral role of pastoral care in every aspect of pastoral ministry. David has spent most of his ministry in the Anglican Church in Sydney as a pastor and as a chaplain in the Royal Australian Navy, as well as in hospitals and prisons. He has been a missionary in Japan, church planting, and is now Head of Biblical Studies at Bishop Patteson Theological College in Solomon Islands.