1 Peter 5:2 ‘Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care.’
There are many expressions of pastoral care in the life of the church – preaching, services, life groups, fight clubs and informal friendships. Pastoral care is an integral part of church life. It is with this in mind, that Westminster Chapel is starting a Personal Pastoral Care Team; which we’re calling ‘Talk to Me’. Talk to Me does not seek to provide professional counselling but rather offers personal help and support to individual church members as they seek to follow Jesus in their lives.
Following Jesus is not something we should do on our own – we need each other, as Ed Welch explains in the video below:
One of the Chapel’s Mission statements is ‘Making Disciples’ – helping one another grow in Christ to impact every place we tread. (Matthew 28:20) Talk to Me can address personal issues in people’s lives which may not be met in other areas of church life. In line with our Mission statement we will seek to do this through:
Biblical Truth: We honour the whole of the Bible as unchanging truth and seek to obey it and apply it to all of life. The Bible has answers to issues in people’s lives and has the power to change people – the way they see and understand and feel God, and Christ, and sin, and right and wrong, and the world, and other people. We want people to know God’s love for them in Christ.
Holy Spirit Power: We consciously depend on the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in our individual walk with God and whenever we meet. We will seek respond to the Spirit’s direction, encouraging people through prayer.
Transforming Grace: We rely on the grace of God to live life by love not by rules. Since personal repentance and faith are the means by which we take hold of God’s grace and apply it to our lives, we cannot coerce or force someone to change. Each person has responsibility before God for their own decisions.
Authentic Community: We seek to be a loving family who walk and work together in unity and true friendship, that partners with others to glorify God. We see the community of the church as the context for change and will encourage people to play their part by joining life groups, serving in teams and making friends.
So, if you are struggling with a particular issue, or you know of someone in your life group or sphere of influence who is, we’d encourage you to turn to our Pastoral Care team.
How it Works
The person we seek to help and support will be part of the church community. This will normally mean the person is a church member or is seeking to formally join the church. Unfortunately we don’t have the necessary resources to offer help to everyone visiting our church – you’ll need to be a committed member of our community.
Referrals: These can be made to the Core Team by Life Group leaders, Prayer Team members or by individual church members.
Supervision: All pastoral support will be done with the knowledge and oversight of the Core Team who will report to, and be accountable to, the Chapel’s Leadership Team.
Duration: Generally we will meet the person for no more than an hour once a week, for up to 6 weeks. The situation will then be reviewed by the Core Team who will decide whether to continue, end or suspend Pastoral Care, or re-direct the person to other options.
Location: Generally meetings with the person will take place in a room at the church or in a public environment such as a local coffee shop. There may be times when a home setting might be more appropriate, in which case the Core Team should be informed beforehand.
Confidentiality: We will endeavour to say as little as possible to others about the situation we are helping with, and then only to members of the Core Team or Leadership Team. However, people must be aware that on rare occasions there may be a need to contact professional bodies e.g. GP but this would normally be done with the person’s knowledge and consent.
Sign-posting. If appropriate the Core Team may (with the person’s permission) refer them to others outside the church. Neither the Chapel, nor the Core Team can accept any responsibility for advice or counsel provided by other persons or agencies.
If you would like more information, please contact our team, using the form on the right.
If you are referring someone else, please do ask for their permission before doing so!
We hope and pray this new ministry will be a support and blessing to you as you seek to live for Jesus.