Tuesday, December 09, 2008

2: The Pastoral Setup

So, I used to believe in the pastoral structure of a mutual body of pastors working together as one in order to embody community. They were divided into 5 categories:
Education: focus on the discipleship and knowledge of community
Mission: Focus on the external engagement of the community on the surrounding environment
Pastoral Care: Focus on the spiritual/physical/psychological well being of the internal community
Worship: Understanding the way in which a community practices and remembers its heritage in meaningful and creative ways
Administrative: the glue that makes sure that the community runs smoothly between all branches of work.

Is this breakdown absolutely necessary to achieve community?

Here is where I first faulter: Community is simple, it starts with a desire to love as God loves - to just love people and really care about their needs. Therefore, it doesn't necessarily need a structured pastoral body, but just one who is pastorally minded to engage the community correctly.

But, in looking at the definitions above, there is also hope for the structure.
- an intentional pastoral structure serves as a witness to the surrounding community that such a life is possible
- the intentional pastoral life is like the Levites who were the example of What Israel should be, the nomad seeking God's promises for the sake of knowing God.
- The intentional structure should be a sharing and consensus of life in which the pastors live to hold each other in higher regard than the self - thus giving rise to the desire to hold others in high regard.

But do we need a structured staff to do this, or just dedicated people? Please, interject some clarification and prayerful wisdom here.

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