Pastoral Care Trichotomies

The essence of ministerial interventions is spiritual. However, aspects of the spiritual strategies are manifested in the body and soul. Specifically:

  • Agapic Care is the essence of ministerial interventions
  • Pistosic Care is required for spiritually-rooted physical actions
  • Elpistic Care is for spiritually-rooted emotional expressions.

In the context of Pastoral Care, ministering to the human spirit means employing strategies to produce the relevant spiritual outcome (see Table 2). The desired outcomes are measured against Fructus Spiritus. Ministry toward the desired outcomes is based on Relational Theology. Relationships are the foundation for all Pastoral Care.

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The spiritual condition of an individual relates to others. Pastoral Care ministers to the interconnectedness of humanity through the Trinitarian Model. This is the Christian concept of God as a single Entity expressed through three Personalities.

  • The Father is a Spirit shared by Son
  • The Father is the Son in Body
  • The Son is the embodiment of the Father’s Soul and Spirit.

This single Entity cannot exist in isolation. The crossover in the relationship between Father & Spirit and Son & Spirit is the basis of spiritual care. No human spirit can be well in isolation. Spiritual well-being is relational. That means the human trichotomy of spirit, soul and body is “whole” when in relationship with itself, with others and with God.

Figure 2

Pastoral Care strategies are centred on the Triumvirate; spiritual conditions are managed by Fructus Spiritus; ministries work within the related level of fulfilment. The “fruit” of holistic well-being is associated with three levels of association (see Table 3).

Primary fruitfulness in one’s being is the foundation for fulfilment. This is one’s relationship with Authority, represented by the Father in the Trinitarian Model.

Secondary fruitfulness is transitional. This is one’s relationship with Family, represented by the Son in the Trinitarian Model. Family in the context of Pastoral Care is not limited to blood-relationships. It includes all those closest to the individual as well as the individual itself.

Tertiary fruitfulness is fulfilment. This is one’s relationship with Society, represented by the Spirit in the Trinitarian Model. However, the relationship is reflective of inner peace. To be at peace with others is only possible if one is at peace with their Self.

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Related Posts in Series:

Pastoral Care Strategies

Recently, I responded to the challenge of defining Pastoral Care. Working within the Aged Care Services sector, the challenge was applicable. Since that time, I have been developing an overview of care strategies and management of spiritual conditions. It is still work in progress! However, I’d like to share some of that work with my readers in this week to come.

Ministerial Intervention is the work of Pastoral Care to manage a spiritual condition. Effective engagement uses the strategies from the Spiritual Triumvirate: Faith, Hope and Charity. The three care strategies for spiritual management (see diagram below) are:

  1. Pistosic Care (faith-based)
  2. Elpistic Care (hope-based)
  3. Agapic Care (charity-based).

Each of the care strategies are used to guide the intervention. Each strategy contains different types of intervention. The different types, in turn, have spiritual resources unique to their ministry. The table below illustrates the relationship between care strategies, management ministries and spiritual resources.

Table 1All three strategies overlap. The distinction is given for emphasis on management of spiritual conditions. The overlap illustrates the interconnectedness of being human and is faithful to the holistic mode for care:

  • Body – Medical Treatments
  • Soul – Therapeutic Treatments
  • Spirit – Ministerial Treatments

There have been numerous studies conducted over the past 50 years that show a person’s health and well-being benefits when his or her spiritual needs are addressed. Some benefits include:

  • shorter hospital stays
  • improved pain management
  • improved experience of the stay
  • improved motivation to complete the tasks of healing
  • improved management of cardiovascular needs (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure)
  • improved sense of well-being.

The overlap of Pastoral Care strategies mimics the overlap in other fields (see Figure 1). Medical treatments yield positive effects on Soul and Spirit; therapeutic treatments effect the Spirit and Body positively; and, as previously noted, ministerial treatments produce positive consequences for the Soul and Body.

Figure 1

(To be continued)

Previous Related Post: What Is Pastoral Care?

 

Creating Order from Your Chaos

The story of creation provides a model for new beginnings. All cultures share this story and at its root is order from chaos. By embracing the chaos in a person’s life or organization’s current standing; you position yourself to receive an orderly creation of something better.

Producing a new beginning for any person or organization means just that: creating order from chaos.

This powerful notion of success is discovered by using a shared language of the Elements. Comparing explanations of origin in different cultures, faiths, and ancient philosophies, there is a shared story. The traditions have passed down:

Fire, Air, Water, and Earth were combined through a Spirit process that began with chaos and ended in order.

The Genesis story of Creation widely known in our Western civilization also preserves this ancient understanding of the Elements. It begins by recognizing existing chaos: “The earth was without form and void.”

  • SPIRIT – And God said.
  • FIRE – Let there be light.
  • AIR – Let there be a firmament (space as in “outer” space).
  • WATER – Let the waters be gathered.
  • EARTH – Let the dry land appear.

Enjoying hard earned success is finding order in your life. To get there, you followed a process because your life or your business needed change. Something was missing. You were seeking fulfillment.

From within yourself (spirit), you articulated a plan (fire). You separated into divisions (air) everything surrounding your project. From there a plan was formulated (water) connecting the divisions and your success appeared (earth).

Following this pattern propelled you to success. Recognizing this configuration allows you to enjoy continued success.

I have applied this arrangement to assess several sales organizations. The company would have already enjoyed success. It reached a plateau and was finding it difficult to grow beyond its last level of success. It was usually bogged down with a toxic environment.

Every time I assess a successful team in trouble, I emphasize two truths:

  1. The current problem was a result of their success and therefore contains the very elements for the solution;
  2. To go forward they had to be willing to allow “Light” to shine in the darkness of their chaos.

Many a successful person repels such revelations. They don’t want to face the reality of their problems. They state they want solutions but in practice their pride stands in the way. As leaders, they know subconsciously they are responsible. After successfully building their dream, they personalize attempts to apply needed change. They interpret these efforts from well-meaning consultants, staff members, and even colleagues as attacks on their character and/or position.

To enjoy the abundance of your hard earned success, you must remain open and coachable. Success never changes that fact. You are right to repel judgment on your actions. You are successful! You fulfilled your dream. However, do not allow that to cloud the light of reality. Remember that rules change to sustain success. Embrace the chaos. It is proof you possess the elements of success.

Remain open to the light of truth. It is your friend. It will be the difference between enjoying good success and great success.

Affirmation: I am abundant enjoying my hard earned success.

From 56 Notions of Success

Child-like Faith in Creation Account

When I was just five, I made a conscious choice to become a Christian. My young mind and heart soaked in the moisture of spirituality. I was primed to bring out the water I drank.

At 8, a new pastor was installed at our little country Baptist church. He taught me to be a  ‘witness’ of the Gospel. That meant it was my duty as a born again Christian to persuade  others to believe what I believe. I was introduced, therefore, to my first measuring stick of  spirituality: possessing the courage to tell others the Truth of scripture.

Perhaps that scares you. It saddens me now, but it was all I knew. Yet in my maturity, I can glean from its good bits and allow the chaff to to dispersed in the wind.

My first four years of primary education were expended inside a little two-room schoolhouse of Berville. The locals call the village ‘Beer’-ville. It was smaller than a small town. Beside the school, there was one business, one dairy, a facility for the Lions Club, and a ‘hotel’, the local pub. Fifty or so houses still surround the afore mentioned buildings to house its community.

The  school no longer exists. The American Veterans now have the land, but tore down the two-storied school building. For a long time, I viewed its demise as a small reward for harbouring my initial persecution.

In my third year of Berville school, I began to practise ‘witnessing’. Out of 60 odd
students, I led 3 or 4 to Christ. I remember the names of two of them. John moved before the  year was out. He was my first ‘best friend’. I never did know to where he moved nor where he  is at today. Bob later became a Jehovah’s Witness and worked inside the Headquarters for the  Watchtower Society in New York. That’s a twist!

I was appointed the leader of a sect within the school. I was the teacher of ‘witnessing’. I led the troops into battle during recess. The playground was our battle ground. We set out to win the lot over to Christ! But we never got by Edgar. His rebuttal to our attack  led to my court-martial.

Our group had prayed together and believed it was of God that we  teach Edgar how to become a Christian. Edgar was Catholic. In those days, they didn’t like being called Christians.

Edgar believed in evolution—or more accurately in the authorities who espouse the philosophy. It is a philosophy, not a science. How do I know? Because after Edgar rejected our Gospel ‘witness’ and I parroted my pastor: ‘Evolutionists are out of their  skulls!’ recess was over and we began Social Studies.

The teacher began the class just after the aforementioned recess by having us read silently the next section in the textbook. After we read the section, she was going to expound its contents.

The reading was about Charles  Darwin and his theory of evolution.

It was introduced to me as a philosophy, not a science. I still believe it is such.

‘Psst. Tim—what are you going to do? Are you going to read it?’

That was one of my followers. I can’t disappoint him, but nor could I encourage rebellion.

‘Of course. It’ll be good for a laugh.’

The laugh was on me. After the appointed time to read was ended, the teacher asked if their were any questions. Edgar stood up. I went stiff.

‘Mrs Winnie, Tim Rose says evolutionists are out of their skulls’.

Silence.

My young world joined forces to smother me.

Mrs Winnie turned a bitter gaze in my direction. My classmates stared at me with curiosity. I don’t remember if I was asked to defend myself. I do remember my response. I stood trembling next to my desk. I lifted its top and pulled out my bible.

I read the Genesis account of Creation.

If only I would have realised that most of my classmates were happy with my response. I never knew until years later. I lost my confidence for many years after. It disappeared in the midst of the humiliation that followed.

Time for recess. Everyone got to go out and play but Tim Rose. Teacher pulled him into the back room. Many words were said. Most forgotten but the one stipulation to join his classmates on the playground were never forgotten:

‘Don’t let me EVER hear you read from that bible in my classroom again!’

Don’t Kill the Messenger

No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.” (Sophocles)

Character assassination in politics has become a normal way to take out competition. Truthfulness of accusations are no longer a concern. The focus is on winning and winning alone. The end justifies the means. It also underscores the difference between so-called success and genuine success. True success is ethical.

Sophocles_pushkin

Thomas came to me absolutely shattered. He confided in me of a terrible situation where his career was about to be destroyed. As I listened to his story, identifying the elements of chaos, it was especially heartbreaking. You see, Thomas was a church elder. He was asked to deliver the results of a polling of church members. And the organization splintered after the message was delivered. 

The church was organized with a plurality of leadership responsibilities. Thomas was the “face” of the organization. He was the one who stood up before the congregation each week and delivered a sermon. Other leaders held different responsibilities. One was in charge of finances, another marketing, and so on. 

This organization had a chairman of the elders. His primary function was to coordinate leadership meetings and ensure their decisions were executed. Yet as Thomas’ narrative unfolded, it became clear the chairman desired more than just coordinate. 

At that time the church did not have its own worship facility. They rented out venues and operated a successful outreach to its community. However, it was no secret the chairman believed it was time for a building program. 

Thomas had been delivering a series of sermons on responsibility to the community. He was approached by key lay persons and several of the other elders. They asked him if he would deliver a message to the chairman that they believed their monies would be better spent at that time on the community work. 

When Thomas delivered the message, the chairman began to blame Thomas for the people’s decision. He accused Thomas of using the public speaking platform to undermine his authority. He then warned Thomas, “You will see how you were wrong to tell me this.” 

Thomas didn’t fully appreciate the warning. By the time he was seeking my counsel, the chairman had released a smear campaign against my client. Unsubstantiated allegations of inappropriate funding were delivered in a letter addressed to leaders across that denomination. Even though Thomas had nothing to do with handling the finances and was only one vote on the executive committee, no outsider was made aware of those details. His character was slandered. 

The chairman soon resigned. It took several months for the organization to regain its momentum. However, it took several years to repair the relationship between the two men. 

When you reach a level of success that holds great responsibility, it will take ethics to sustain that success. 

Challenge: Ethics is an expression of respect for others. Do I view myself as above the rules for social order? 

Why God Created Evil

To many, my headline is offensive. Human Secularism has won the battle of Western thinking. There is no God.

The argument goes like this:

  1. If there was a God, God is good.
  2. Evil exists.
  3. Therefore, there is no God, for if there was a God, there would be no Evil.

The idea that creature can dictate the terms of his/her Creator’s existence is irrational. Nonetheless, the argument outlined above passes as “great thinking”.

Nietzsche God is Dead

Here are three reasons why God created Evil.

  1. Because there can be no Justice without Evil.

God claims to be the creator of Evil. God does not claim to create sin, but the judgment necessary for sin’s actions. If there is no such thing as Evil, there is no justice in life. Being Just is a part of being Good.

I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:5-7

  1. Because there can be no Good without Evil.

What is Good? Without Evil, Good has no definition. Without Evil, there is no need for Good. Whatever Good is, it is not Evil. The two concepts cannot exist in a vacuum. They are interdependent on each other. Duality is reality:

  • Without the negative, there is no positive;
  • Without danger, there is no safety;
  • Without pessimism, there is no optimism;
  • Without Egoism there is no Altruism;
  • Without Chaos, there is no such thing as Order;
  • Without unconsciousness, consciousness does not exist;
  • Without slavery, freedom cannot be birthed.
  1. Because God’s goodness is what leads to Repentance.

Without Evil, there is no need to repent. To repent is change the direction of one’s path. To repent is to change the thinking of one’s mind. To repent is to change the attitude of one’s heart. If there is no God, no repentance is required. If there is a God, a change in one’s direction, thinking and attitude is required to align with God’s ways. Without Goodness, there is no means of repentance.

Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4

God’s Goodness is associated with forbearance and longsuffering. What makes God Good is the exists of Evil in our lives and God’s willingness to forgive.

To deny Evil is to despise God’s Goodness.

Is the Lord’s Supper A Meal?

There is a groundswell bubbling beneath the surface of contemporary Christianity. It is trying to burst forth freedom from “religion”.

My difficulty is, however, that this coming Reformation is CONTRARY to the original Reformation.

The Reformation of the Church popularized by Dr Martin Luther was a thirst to RETURN to a bible-based application of religious practices.

The new Reformation will make the same claim. The difficulty is that we now have a multiplicity of versions of the Bible that contradict each other. The contradictions are now leading to interpretations of ancient practices contrary to the original texts.

The Lord’s Supper is case in point.

There is a movement to refer to the Lord’s Supper as a “meal”.

The argument goes something like this:

  1. Jesus was observing the Passover with His Disciples.
  2. The Passover was a meal.
  3. The observance Jesus commanded was given at the Passover meal.
  4. Therefore, the observance is a meal.

Those that follow that logic and embrace its application are rejecting the Scripture as preserved in the Reformation Texts.

Paul the Apostle specifically instructs, “When ye come together therefore into one place, this is NOT to eat the Lord’s supper” (I Cor 11:20, emphasis mine). “What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God…” (I Cor 11:22).

  1. The purpose of Christian assembly is NOT to eat the Lord’s Supper.
  2. Eating belongs in your house.
  3. Confusing Christian assembly with household meals is DESPISING God’s Church.
  4. Therefore, the observance is SACRED.

That is why it is called a “sacrament”, not a “meal”. The reformation texts also used the term “ordinance”.

At the root of the issue is how to translate and/or apply the Greek word, paradosis.

I Corinthians 11:2 reads “keep the ordinances, as I have delivered them to you.” The revised traditional texts now translate pardosis as “tradition”. At least that is closer to paradosis than the application of it being a “meal”. “Tradition”, however, is still weaker than the original “ordinance”. The Orthodox Jewish Bible, instead of translating the term into English, preserves the Hebrew:

Now, I commend you that in all things you have remembered me and you hold fast to the masoret torat haShlichim just as I transmitted and handed them over to you. (1 Corinthians 11:2, emphasis mine).

The beauty of this is the concept of the observance being something “set apart” from the meal itself. The context of Paul’s teaching is that the Lord’s Supper is NOT to be observed as any other traditional meal (see I Corinthians 11:27-34).

The meaning of paradosis and the masoret torat haShlichim is passing on that which was taught before. It deals with the substance of the teaching and of the body of precepts, especially that of a ritual.

No matter how you translate the original language, the observance is meant to be special, not common. To treat the Lord’s Supper as a common meal is literally to PROFANE the ordinance.

What is being lost through all this confusion?

  1. The observance was post-meal.
  2. The observance was to supersede the Levitical tradition.
  3. The observance was to establish Jesus as the High Priest of a different priesthood.
  4. The Passover is Levitical; the observance is PRE-Moses!

The ritual performed by Jesus Christ established Himself as the new high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God, not the high priest of Israel. He “brought forth bread and wine” and he “blessed” Abraham. Abraham gave of his tithes to Melchizedek (compare Genesis 14:17-20 and Hebrews 7).

Treating the Lord’s Supper as a common meal or even a part of the Passover Meal covers over the establishment of Jesus Christ as the High Priest of the most high God. As the high priest after the order of Melchizedek, Jesus was able to go to the Cross and offer His life vicariously for humanity. If the Lord’s Supper was just a meal, His sacrifice was in vain.

The Prophetic Psalm of David (110)

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand,
until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion:
rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,
in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning:
thou hast the dew of thy youth.
The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent,
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

He shall judge among the heathen,
he shall fill the places with the dead bodies;
he shall wound the heads over many countries.
He shall drink of the brook in the way:
therefore shall he lift up the head.