When life gets tough it is important to ask for help, but sometimes we don't know where to go or who to ask... This blog aims to outline how our Church can offer pastoral care in times of need.
1. A Listening Ear
"This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
Our Church is full of safe individuals who are willing to listen to your story and assist you in finding the help you need. They may be peers, a connect group leader, a Pastor, or any member of our Church who you trust. At a foundational level, all followers of Jesus are called to care for one another.
Connect Groups are the perfect place to build trusting relationships with other members of our Church who may become a listening ear for you. At NVBC, Connect Groups are the primary context for Pastoral Care. Connect Group leaders are trained to listen, foster a sense of belonging, and help refer pastoral issues to the pastoral team.
If you are not in a connect group or you find it hard to open up with people, our Pastoral team are always available to meet with you. Simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org and request to speak with a Pastor. We also have a Pastoral Care team (made up of both males and females) within our Church who help provide hospital visitation, phone calls, and referrals.
Our Pastoral staff meet every Wednesday to discuss the appropriate options for individuals in need of pastoral care (unless confidentiality inhibits us from doing so). Therefore, it is important that our Church community feel safe asking for help. It is also important for the individuals in our Church to contact the pastoral team when they have concerns for the wellbeing of others. Asking for help can be daunting, but it the fist port-of-call.
2. A Faithful Prayer
"Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)
The Prayer team at NVBC is faithful, discerning and eager to intercede for anyone with a prayer request. They are available 24/7 by clicking the "Prayer" link on our website nvbc.info
This message is then received by the leader of our prayer team and our pastoral staff. The prayer team meet every Tuesday evening and on Sunday mornings in the prayer room at 9am.
3. Financial Assistance
The Edgar Hall fund began in 1991. This fund is used by NVBC to provide financial assistance to those in need. The yearly Christmas offering at NVBC is used to supplement this fund.
In the past the fund has been used as rent-assistance, for groceries, or for unexpected circumstances (such as house flooding). Members of our local community are also able to request one 'Coles Grocery Voucher' per year during times of financial trouble.
Furthermore, our Church is full of generous individuals who have supported others financially in times of need.
4. A Full Stomach
“I was hungry and you gave me food.” (Matthew 25:35a)
As we all know, there are occasional circumstances under which people would greatly appreciate the provision of a meal or two. Usually it’s not because they can’t afford it, although that may sometimes be the case. More often it’s because sickness or other traumatic circumstances have upset the usual routines of the individual, couple, or family and there is not the time, energy, or ability to prepare adequate meals. This is where “Helping Hands” helps, by providing meals and the caring support that goes along with that.
When we receive requests for Pastoral Care, the team at NVBC may organise for food to be delivered. We have a large freezer at the Church building that keeps meals on hand so that we are always ready in times of emergency!
5. An Appropriate Referral
"Pastoral leaders should not offer unqualified advice in areas for which they do not hold credentials." (Baptist Pastors Code of Ethics and Conduct)
When there are pastoral issues outside the scope of a Pastor's training, they will always make an appropriate referral to a trained professional. NVBC can recommend a Christian Counsellor and will always recommend a doctor when medical assistance is required.
The "Safe Church Team" at NVBC exists to make sure that mandatory reporting is completed when it is required; and to protect vulnerable people in our Church. It also ensures that appropriate referrals are made.
Our Church is equipped to provide a Pastoral Care in a variety of ways. Pastors are always available during Sunday services for prayer and for quick discussions, but Connect Groups are the primary space for pastoral care at NVBC.
So how can you help us help others? Firstly, if you have any concerns for the wellbeing of others in our community please let a Church leader know! This will help us to identify who may need pastoral care.
Secondly, you could serve or join a team! Perhaps you would like to become a connect group leader or join the prayer team. Perhaps you could cook meals for "helping hands". You may even want to financially contribute to the Edgar Hall fund.
We pray our Church continues to be a community that cares for each other.