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Thread: Expectations of Pastoral Care

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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Expectations of Pastoral Care

    My opinion is that much of our expectations are based upon our experience - and significant to that is our age and the size of our church community.


    What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?

    Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church?
    Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class?
    Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor?
    Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit?
    Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?
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    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    My opinion is that much of our expectations are based upon our experience - and significant to that is our age and the size of our church community.


    What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?

    Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church?
    Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class?
    Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor?
    Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit?
    Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?
    I am a pastor, but if I weren't my answers would be: NO, NO, NO, YES, NO.

    And to help with your hypothesis I am 34 years old, grew up in a mid sized church (250-300), attended/interned at a larger church (700ish), and was staff at a church in the 100-150 range (but which functioned because of a variety of factors much more like a large church than a small church... there were 5 pastors on staff and it ran very professionally), I now pastor a church of about 60.
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    Host Fun & Prayer forums Gina Stevenson's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Same answers as seen above in Eric's post.
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    Senior Member Jon Bemis's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    I pastor church of around 115, my answer is the same as Eric's.
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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    I agree with Eric's answers, but would add those answers when applied are why most lay people including myself tend to roll their eyes when pastors claim to work 60-80 hours a week.
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    Senior Member Bob Carabbio's Avatar

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    This and that -

    "What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?"

    As I told our pastor when we hired him (I was on the board at the time): You'll probably have to preach my funeral - better start taking notes. Other than that, I expect nothing as far as "Care" goes.

    "Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church?"

    No. Maybe if I disappear for several weeks -

    "Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class?"

    No.

    "Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor?"

    Sure. We're from New England, and in the '50s, folks DID "just drop in". TO us nothing could be more natural.

    "Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit?"

    Depends on the nature of the issue. Since I'm on the Board, all means of communication are used regularly. E-Mail, and "texting" leaves a RECORD of what was discussed - which can be handy. If the pastor is checking out a rumor that I'm beating my wife (or if I'm checking on him), a personal visit would be preferable. I've gotten two E-Mails from him today already.

    "Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?"

    Yes - but as a Board member, that's kind of intrinsic.

    I'm 69 years old, been in the AoG for MOST of the last 50 years, and held every position at one time or another except Women's Ministries director, and Senior pastor. Our church runs about 50-60 on the average week. The Pastor is full-time.
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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    My opinion is that much of our expectations are based upon our experience - and significant to that is our age and the size of our church community.
    I think you're right. Answers below.

    What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?

    Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church?
    Since I have multiple responsibilities and am conscientious to a fault, it would take something catastrophic for me to miss a Sunday morning service without notice. So, yes, I would expect doing so to trigger a call. If I missed something for which I had no responsibilities, it would be nice to think someone noticed, but it could be anyone and it wouldn't be that big a deal if no one said anything.
    Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class?
    I'm the teacher, but if I weren't ... see the last part of the above answer. AS the teacher, I don't make those calls but that's just part of my strong aversion to dialing the telephone. I think it's good when teachers do call and realize it's one of several weaknesses in my ministry as a SS teacher.
    Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor?
    Not particularly, but it wouldn't bother me. In my younger years with the constant clutter of living with children and with fewer visitors, it was a much bigger deal. My answer then was, God forbid! My story collection of "Most Embarrassing Moments Ever" includes one of an unannounced pastoral call. It seems like there was some sort of crisis that brought the pastor and wife to my door but I don't remember the crisis, only the embarrassment and the half-serious consideration of finding a new church home so I would never have to face those people again. Being treasurer under three different pastors, it took a while with each one to persuade them to give me five minutes notice before stopping by. It's amazing what can be accomplished in five minutes!
    Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit?
    Depends on what is being communicated. My pastor made an extraordinary effort to get hold of me this week by phone to tell me that the bank deposit from last Sunday was $1 off. I was really surprised by the single-purpose call because 1) it wasn't anything unusual or urgent and 2) it's usually the counters who let me know if they think a deposit error is important, 3) it really would have been better communicated by email so I would be reading it in a setting better conducive for making a note of it, and 4) if it was easier to call than to write, why not leave a message on my home phone rather than trying to track me down? However, for something that has potential to upset my little world, I would really like a phone call or face-to-face meeting. Please, don't email me to tell me that a ministry in which I am involved has been significantly modified or cancelled or that you or someone else has a problem with something I'm doing.
    Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?
    It is my expectation that I will make personal contact with my pastor every Sunday. Otherwise, he might wonder if I'm avoiding him for some reason or don't care about him and his well-being, particularly since I virtually never get in line to be "shook out" of the sanctuary. As an (over)active member of a church that runs around 60, I expect to have a personal relationship with my pastor, and regular interaction is one part of keeping that relationship healthy. I see the responsibility for making sure that happens as mine as much as or more than his. I need to give him opportunity to communicate with me.
    Marsha
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Glenda Harvey's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Ours is a large Church so I don't expect the Pastor to call me if I miss Church. I would not like an unannounced visit. If I were in the Hospital or experiencing a tragedy such as death, a serious accident or illness of a family member I would expect a visit from the Pastor.

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    Host Sports forum Shea Zellweger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    My opinion is that much of our expectations are based upon our experience - and significant to that is our age and the size of our church community.


    What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?

    Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church?
    Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class?
    Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor?
    Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit?
    Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?
    Maybe, no, no, yes, maybe.
    If I have made a commitment to a church as an Associate or a lay leader with commitments on Sunday Morning, and I'm absent without notice, I expect to be contacted. This is mostly because I think I demonstrate myself to be a conscientious person (I'm either there, or I give advance notice if possible), so when I'm absent, the relationship I have with the pastor should be such that my absence is noticed and merits some concern. But if I'm just attending the church and happen to miss a Sunday, I would not expect the pastor to call me (though I also would not be surprised if s/he did).
    Do not show up at my house unannounced. I will smile, welcome you in, and do my best to play host... but I am much more prepared to deal with people when I have advanced notice.
    By all means, email me. I generally only give out my phone number to friends and employers, and usually the former are the only folks invited to my home. If the pastor has my # or address, then the call/visit is most likely as friend, not as pastor, which is an entirely different dynamic.
    If I'm serving in a role where personal contact with the pastor is necessary (associate, worship leader, etc.), then yes. If I'm just another person in the pews, and someone else needs the pastor more than me, then it's no problem.
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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    My opinion is that much of our expectations are based upon our experience - and significant to that is our age and the size of our church community.


    What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?

    Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church?
    Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class?
    Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor?
    Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit?
    Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?
    Answer's:

    No
    Yes
    Maybe
    Sure
    No

    I think most churches HAVE to rely on the Pastor for most everything.... if a person is aggravated that the Pastor doesn't have the time to pay special attention to them... well... why not jump in and help around the church? I strongly believe in Delegation and Discipleship... but that's pretty hard when the Pastor has to do everything.. or it don't get done.
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    Senior Member John Reilly's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Add a question, "If you do not put your tithe in the offering do you expect the counters/financial secretary to tell the pastor?"

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    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    I am a pastor, but if I weren't my answers would be: NO, NO, NO, YES, NO.

    And to help with your hypothesis I am 34 years old, grew up in a mid sized church (250-300), attended/interned at a larger church (700ish), and was staff at a church in the 100-150 range (but which functioned because of a variety of factors much more like a large church than a small church... there were 5 pastors on staff and it ran very professionally), I now pastor a church of about 60.
    Amen. I pastor a smaller congregation, but that is still unrealistic.

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    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Shea Zellweger View Post
    Maybe, no, no, yes, maybe.
    If I have made a commitment to a church as an Associate or a lay leader with commitments on Sunday Morning, and I'm absent without notice, I expect to be contacted. This is mostly because I think I demonstrate myself to be a conscientious person (I'm either there, or I give advance notice if possible), so when I'm absent, the relationship I have with the pastor should be such that my absence is noticed and merits some concern. But if I'm just attending the church and happen to miss a Sunday, I would not expect the pastor to call me (though I also would not be surprised if s/he did).
    Do not show up at my house unannounced. I will smile, welcome you in, and do my best to play host... but I am much more prepared to deal with people when I have advanced notice.
    By all means, email me. I generally only give out my phone number to friends and employers, and usually the former are the only folks invited to my home. If the pastor has my # or address, then the call/visit is most likely as friend, not as pastor, which is an entirely different dynamic.
    If I'm serving in a role where personal contact with the pastor is necessary (associate, worship leader, etc.), then yes. If I'm just another person in the pews, and someone else needs the pastor more than me, then it's no problem.
    One of the ideas that Jeren Rowell shared in one of my NTS classes has stuck with me. It is the idea of the OFFICE of the pastor, not the person. If a staff person calls on you, does it count, or does it have to be the pastor. If I, in a small church with no staff, have a volunteer lay ministry to call on people, does that count?

    FYI - I monitor my attendance stats and when someone misses 2 straight weeks and I don't know why, they get a card or a call, just to check in. Some people miss often with health issues, and I'm pretty aware of that.

    I copy the monthly attendance report - we have a spreadsheet with each name and week and check who is there. I share that with my board and encourage them to call their friends who have been missing.

    We have to get away from it only being the pastor to do this type of thing. But that mentality is hard to break.
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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Mike, that you ask the question deeply unsettles me, since I much respect your thinking.
    It reflects expectations for a leader that are completely beyond achievement - and all the Nazarene pastors I've known have espoused some or all of this damaging set of expectations. As do congregants.

    It seems to me that the resonse to most (all?) of your questions in a healthy congregation will focus on mutual interactions between folks in the congregation, with the leader simply as "one of the gang".
    Hence, "Do I expect a call from [someone in my small group/sunday school class] if I miss church?" = Yes. Because we have learned & practice noticing & caring for each other's welfare - and an unexplained absence may indicate something's amiss in my life.
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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    ...We have to get away from it only being the pastor to do this type of thing. But that mentality is hard to break.
    Agreed.
    But I strongly believe that Scripture teaches that "that mentality" is not at all what Jesus taught and now intends.
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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    I grew up in Protestant churches. Our pastor visited about once a year and made hospital calls, etc. for serious issues. When I married, I converted to Catholicism. The sheer size of the typical church makes personal visits improbable except in very serious situations. My youngest child was hospitalized 8 times his first year--no visits or calls, even though I was alone (dh was deployed) and kind of desperate. My childhood pastor did drive 150 miles to visit and pray for the baby with me. When my dh died, I had to go to the church offices to set up the funeral. Our priest did not stop by the house--although two Nazarene pastors from my husband's native country spent most of 4 days at the house with the children and me. A couple of years later, I screwed up courage to talk to a priest about it. He told me I had "Protestant expectations" of the church. So, what are my expectations? That the pastor/priest know my name if I am a regular attendee. That he/she comes when disaster strikes. Any communication is appreciated--newsletter, call, email, whatever. That I feel at least a little "welcomed" now and then. I'm not demanding--but I was very hurt in the two above situations.
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    Senior Member Glenda Harvey's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Maybe I didn't really answer this very well. Here goes.

    no
    no
    no
    yes
    no

  18. #18
    Host Sports forum Shea Zellweger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Audrey Small View Post
    I grew up in Protestant churches. Our pastor visited about once a year and made hospital calls, etc. for serious issues. When I married, I converted to Catholicism. The sheer size of the typical church makes personal visits improbable except in very serious situations. My youngest child was hospitalized 8 times his first year--no visits or calls, even though I was alone (dh was deployed) and kind of desperate. My childhood pastor did drive 150 miles to visit and pray for the baby with me. When my dh died, I had to go to the church offices to set up the funeral. Our priest did not stop by the house--although two Nazarene pastors from my husband's native country spent most of 4 days at the house with the children and me. A couple of years later, I screwed up courage to talk to a priest about it. He told me I had "Protestant expectations" of the church. So, what are my expectations? That the pastor/priest know my name if I am a regular attendee. That he/she comes when disaster strikes. Any communication is appreciated--newsletter, call, email, whatever. That I feel at least a little "welcomed" now and then. I'm not demanding--but I was very hurt in the two above situations.
    I wouldn't call them "Protestant expectations." The Eastern Orthodox tradition is full of intimacy between the priest and the congregation. For instance, when receiving the Eucharist, the Priest is supposed to say "____ receives the body and blood..." (___being your christening name). The heart of the Eastern Church experience is community, with the Priest playing an integral part in that community. Obviously, someone can have excessive expectations of a minister, and many people do, but the idea that you would receive a visit from the pastoral office when your spouse died, or when your infant child was in the hospital, is not "Protestant" at all- it's simply a part of being in community
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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    What is your personal expectation as to pastoral care?

    Do you expect a call from the pastor if you miss church? Would be nice.
    Do you expect a call from your Sunday school teacher if you miss class? Yes, or someone from the class.
    Do you want an unannounced visit in your home by the pastor? Unannounced NO. Announced would be ok...depending how sick I was.
    Do you think it is appropriate that communication between pastor and congregation is via email, rather than phone call or personal visit? email is fine. I've flexible regarding communication.
    Is it your expectation that you will receive a personal contact with the pastor every Sunday?Since I am on the pastoral prayer time and local pastor, yes. Others...dunno.
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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Tatsch View Post
    Mike, that you ask the question deeply unsettles me, since I much respect your thinking.
    It reflects expectations for a leader that are completely beyond achievement - and all the Nazarene pastors I've known have espoused some or all of this damaging set of expectations. As do congregants.

    It seems to me that the resonse to most (all?) of your questions in a healthy congregation will focus on mutual interactions between folks in the congregation, with the leader simply as "one of the gang".
    Hence, "Do I expect a call from [someone in my small group/sunday school class] if I miss church?" = Yes. Because we have learned & practice noticing & caring for each other's welfare - and an unexplained absence may indicate something's amiss in my life.
    Gene,
    Thanks for sharing.
    I wanted to wait until the conversation got going before I shared my reasons for starting the discussion.
    In my own ministry, in the nascent ministry of some of the young pastors I work with, and in the ministry of the women and men of our local ministerium, there is the challenge of unspoken expectations concerning pastoral care.
    In our church, much of it seems experiential. Folks who have spent their life in small, Protestant churches have far different expectations upon the pastor than those who are new to our church or who grew up in larger churches. (For example, up until 9 years ago, I spent my entire adult life in a large church. I had no expectation that I would have a personal conversation with the pastor every Sunday morning. It was a rude awakening to me that there were many in my small church who took offense if this did not happen - and that it was the pastor's responsibility to initiate the conversation.)
    There is also the generational dynamic. It seems that many older folks have expectations for the pastor that those younger do not share. (Unannounced home visits seem to be one such expectation.)

    My purpose in raising these questions is to bring to light the diversity of pastoral expectations. Part of the problem of unspoken expectations is that we assume everyone shares them, and that when they are unmet, it is an indicator of broken relationships, or poor performance, rather than lack of communication or, as you have - in my opinion, rightly named - unreasonable expectations.
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    Senior Member Roy Richardson's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schutz View Post
    Gene,
    Thanks for sharing.
    I wanted to wait until the conversation got going before I shared my reasons for starting the discussion.
    In my own ministry, in the nascent ministry of some of the young pastors I work with, and in the ministry of the women and men of our local ministerium, there is the challenge of unspoken expectations concerning pastoral care.
    In our church, much of it seems experiential. Folks who have spent their life in small, Protestant churches have far different expectations upon the pastor than those who are new to our church or who grew up in larger churches. (For example, up until 9 years ago, I spent my entire adult life in a large church. I had no expectation that I would have a personal conversation with the pastor every Sunday morning. It was a rude awakening to me that there were many in my small church who took offense if this did not happen - and that it was the pastor's responsibility to initiate the conversation.)
    There is also the generational dynamic. It seems that many older folks have expectations for the pastor that those younger do not share. (Unannounced home visits seem to be one such expectation.)

    My purpose in raising these questions is to bring to light the diversity of pastoral expectations. Part of the problem of unspoken expectations is that we assume everyone shares them, and that when they are unmet, it is an indicator of broken relationships, or poor performance, rather than lack of communication or, as you have - in my opinion, rightly named - unreasonable expectations.
    The unwritten rules are so hard to decipher. I have a couple who have commented a couple times that my family has not been to their house. I playfully responded that we have not been invited. I think that is one of those generational things that I don't quite grasp. My wife works full-time, I have 2 jobs, and 2 teenagers. Scheduling is a huge issue for us. The days of the pastor working and the stay at home pastor's wife seem to be gone. In many churches, the pastor's spouse is providing health insurance and a significant portion of the family income. The cost of our district health insurance is ridiculous, so my wife's job is key to us, especially with a child with a chronic illness.

    It is quite an adjustment for many, and the unwritten and unspoken expectations can lead to many misunderstandings and cases of hard feelings.

    Does anyone know how to bring those out into the open in a constructive manner?
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    Senior Member Rich Schmidt's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    The unwritten rules are so hard to decipher. I have a couple who have commented a couple times that my family has not been to their house. I playfully responded that we have not been invited.
    I think that's exactly the right response. Or else a confused, "Oh, I'm sorry! When did you invite us over? I don't remember Stacey mentioning that to me..." (Replace "Stacey" with your own wife's name, of course.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    Does anyone know how to bring those out into the open in a constructive manner?
    Find an opportunity to talk about it on a Sunday morning, during a message, with humor if possible. That's what I would do, anyway.

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    ... Does anyone know how to bring those out into the open in a constructive manner?
    Our training to believe "the pastor" does this or that is an unbearable and nearly fatal flaw. It's as if we expect a disembodied "head" to perform all the functions of the entire Body. Which it is not designed to do - and cannot.

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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Richardson View Post
    The unwritten rules are so hard to decipher. I have a couple who have commented a couple times that my family has not been to their house. I playfully responded that we have not been invited. I think that is one of those generational things that I don't quite grasp. My wife works full-time, I have 2 jobs, and 2 teenagers. Scheduling is a huge issue for us. The days of the pastor working and the stay at home pastor's wife seem to be gone. In many churches, the pastor's spouse is providing health insurance and a significant portion of the family income. The cost of our district health insurance is ridiculous, so my wife's job is key to us, especially with a child with a chronic illness.

    It is quite an adjustment for many, and the unwritten and unspoken expectations can lead to many misunderstandings and cases of hard feelings.

    Does anyone know how to bring those out into the open in a constructive manner?
    At one point, my former church board planned on writing out expectations ahead of time for the new, young pastor. Then it turns out we got an older pastor so the rest of the board did away with that. I thought that was rather rude but anyways... didn't help much in that case as it was a bad mix to begin with. But it is still a good idea - before a pastor arrives, have the board write out some expectations of the pastor and vs versa
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Reminds me of a story I heard from a DS in which he sat down with the board of a church in transition that had been a bit of a pastor killer. He went to a caulk board and asked them to list everything the pastor absolutely must get done and how many hours a week he/she should do it. Then he added it up. 120 hours a week.

    I thought that a brilliant exercise in helping a church gain some insight into the heavy expectations that a church places on a pastor.
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    Senior Member Glenda Harvey's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Unger View Post
    At one point, my former church board planned on writing out expectations ahead of time for the new, young pastor. Then it turns out we got an older pastor so the rest of the board did away with that. I thought that was rather rude but anyways... didn't help much in that case as it was a bad mix to begin with. But it is still a good idea - before a pastor arrives, have the board write out some expectations of the pastor and vs versa
    A list of expectations may not be a bad idea. Not a Pastor but have had to change supervisors or sites while under the same job title and have found that each site and each supervisor is different and have different expectations even though the official job description is the same. I'm sure it is the same with Churches and a heads up for an incoming Pastor would probably be a good thing.
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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenda Harvey View Post
    A list of expectations may not be a bad idea. Not a Pastor but have had to change supervisors or sites while under the same job title and have found that each site and each supervisor is different and have different expectations even though the official job description is the same. I'm sure it is the same with Churches and a heads up for an incoming Pastor would probably be a good thing.
    Yup, and I believe it would be good to hear the pastor's expectations as well. Get things out in the open at the very beginning.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

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    Host Book, Movie & CE forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    caulk board
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how you made this typo. Those letters are not even close to the ones you should have typed.
    ...just my $.02.
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    Senior Member Mike Schutz's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how you made this typo. Those letters are not even close to the ones you should have typed.
    Ah, yes.
    The expectation of perfect performance on the part of the pastor.

    Thanks for bringing that one up.
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how you made this typo. Those letters are not even close to the ones you should have typed.
    Spiritual gift. - Really.

    Actually it has to do with the unusual way in which my brain is wired. It is a long story that includes flunking the second grade, being placed in special education and labeled as low IQ. - Lets just say traditional educational methodology of the 1960's and my learning style were pretty incompatible.

    The short answer is this. Most people's brains process written words visually. (Everyone leans one way or the other on a continuum - Good writers usually have a strong visual component. Good proof readers almost always) My brain has a hard time doing that. I am an extreme audio learner and brain function processor. What you are looking at is a Malaprop. (Using a word that sounds the same but has a different meaning) Usually this is associated with not knowing the right word. When people use Malaprops it is almost always in spoken language because it occurs in the part of the brain that process audio information. For the extremely small part of the population that processes language almost exclusively in the audio part of the brain we get Malaprops not because we don't know the meaning of words but because our brains will typically write (visual tactical brain function) in the audio part of our brain so spelling is an extremely low priority for my brain because it (spelling) exclusively visual. - Say the two words out loud and you will see that while they are not close in spelling they share a root sound. - Thus my brain when typing fast confuses the two when it processes visually to write.

    Usually spell checker helps but if I type a real word it takes a grammar checker. I would pay for a browser that had a built in grammar checker like Chrome has a spelling checker. The other option is very slow proof reading, remember this is done in the visual part of the brain that does not work well for me. I break into a cold sweat when I go places and they want to play Scrabble!

    There lots of other consequences. - In the 60's phonics fell out of style in my local school district. It was all about "sight" words. - when this did not help me the solution was "Flash cards" - To this day I am a horrible speller.

    Another one that has been noted by some, even some on Naznet, is that there is a radical difference between my writing style and my preaching style. (My sermons are online)

    Okay, way more than you wanted to know. Had a psychologist tell me one time if I had been born in an time before spell check (which is why I use chrome) and grammar checkers (which catch this sort of thing - usually) I probably would have had to be a laborer.

    Way more than you wanted to know - but this is a part of why I am such a big advocate of "everyone is uniquely gifted by God and all gifts have upsides and down sides" Trying to fit people into boxes is antithetical to creation in my opinion.

    Thanks for asking.
    Last edited by Craig Laughlin; July 9th, 2011 at 12:24 PM. Reason: Spelling and Grammar!
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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    Spiritual gift. - Really.

    Actually it has to do with the unusual way in which my brain is wired. It is a long story that includes flunking the second grade, being placed in special education and labeled as low IQ. - Lets just say traditional educational methodology of the 1960's and my learning style were pretty incompatible.

    The short answer is this. Most people's brains process written words visually. (Everyone leans one way or the other on a continuum - Good writers usually have a strong visual component. Good proof reads almost always) My brain has a hard time doing that. I am an extreme audio learner and brain function processor. What you are looking at is a Malaprop. (Using a word that sounds the same but has a different meaning) Usually this is associated with not knowing the right word. When people use Malaprops it is almost always in spoken language because it occurs in the part of the brain that process audio information. For the extremely small part of the population that processes language almost exclusively in the audio part of the brain we get Malaprops not because we don't know the meaning of words but because our brains will typically write (visual tactical brain function) in the audio part of our brain so spelling is an extremely low priority for my brain because it is elusively visual. - Say the two words out loud and you will see that while they are not close in spelling they share a root sound. - Thus my brain when typing fast confuses the two when it processes visually to write.

    Usually spell checker helps but if I type a real word it takes a grammar checker. I would pay for a browser that had a built in grammar checker like Chrome has a spelling checker. The other option is very slow proof reading, remember this is done in the visual part of the brain that does not work well for me. I break into a cold sweat when I go places and they want to play Scrabble!

    There lots of other consequences. - In the 60's phonics fell out of style in my local school district. It was all about "sight" words. - when this did not help me the solution was "Flash cards" - To this day I am a horrible speller.

    Another one that has been noted by some, even some on Naznet, is that there is a radical difference between my writing style and my preaching style. (My sermons are online)

    Okay, way more than you wanted to know. Had a psychologist tell me one time if I had been born in an time before spell check (which is why I use chrome) and grammar checkers (which catch this sort of thing - usually) I probably would have had to be a laborer.

    Way more than you wanted to know - but this is a part of why I am such a big advocate of "everyone is uniquely gifted by God and all gifts have upsides and down sides" Trying to fit people into boxes is antithetical to creation in my opinion.

    Thanks for asking.
    This is why when I was a teacher in the 90s, for some students, I had to read my written test into a cassette player so that they could go to another room and listen to the test in order to understand what the questions are. I also used a variety of testing techniques for all classes in order to hit those who hadn't been tested. And really, Spanish is not just a written language but an oral one as well.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

    There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 1 John 4:18a


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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Unger View Post
    This is why when I was a teacher in the 90s, for some students, I had to read my written test into a cassette player so that they could go to another room and listen to the test in order to understand what the questions are. I also used a variety of testing techniques for all classes in order to hit those who hadn't been tested. And really, Spanish is not just a written language but an oral one as well.
    You were a great teacher. Wish they had looked at it like that in the 60's. - Yeah, one of my complaints about the teaching of languages is that it seems always to focus on the written component. - Language is first an audio experience.
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    Host Sports forum Shea Zellweger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    You were a great teacher. Wish they had looked at it like that in the 60's. - Yeah, one of my complaints about the teaching of languages is that it seems always to focus on the written component. - Language is first an audio experience.
    Been reading Walter Ong lately?

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Shea Zellweger View Post
    Been reading Walter Ong lately?
    Wow - No. Just read a little about him. - He seems right up my alley. He is asking the same questions I have been asking for a long time. Thanks Shea.

    Just to be clear - I don't really think one way is better than another. They all have advantages and disadvantages, but I am what I am and so live in an oral rather than written world. Probably a part of my passion for being a parish pastor or practicing theologian rather than a theoretical theologian.
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    Host Fun & Prayer forums Gina Stevenson's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Shea Zellweger View Post
    Been reading Walter Ong lately?
    Thanks. Googled him and it's interesting, so only could read part of it now, there's so much. Will finish later.
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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    You were a great teacher. Wish they had looked at it like that in the 60's. - Yeah, one of my complaints about the teaching of languages is that it seems always to focus on the written component. - Language is first an audio experience.
    Well, I can't take full credit. My school district required that those students who had learning disabilities be tested like this. But the oral vocab quizzes and skits were my idea. Those who learned well by written work hated them, those that were oral or kinesthetic learners loved them because it gave them a chance to show that they really did know what was going on.

    And learning French in the 80s in highschool it was all written - probably why I could pass the tests with flying colors but couldn't carry on a conversation to save my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shea Zellweger View Post
    Been reading Walter Ong lately?
    Never even heard of him - It's just common sense.
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    Host Sports forum Shea Zellweger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    Just to be clear - I don't really think one way is better than another. They all have advantages and disadvantages, but I am what I am and so live in an oral rather than written world. Probably a part of my passion for being a parish pastor or practicing theologian rather than a theoretical theologian.
    Actually, I'm not too fond of Ong. In Orality and Literacy: Technologizing of the Word (his premier text) He defines a "Primary Oral Society" as one which is entirely unfamiliar with literacy. I think it's more interesting to look at the interplay between oral and literate communication in a fully literate society. But your words kind of reminded me of the overall conversation. Albert Lord is probably a little more relevant to how we communicate orally. If he doesn't float your boat, you'll just have to wait til some of my stuff gets published :P.
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Shea Zellweger View Post
    Actually, I'm not too fond of Ong. In Orality and Literacy: Technologizing of the Word (his premier text) He defines a "Primary Oral Society" as one which is entirely unfamiliar with literacy. I think it's more interesting to look at the interplay between oral and literate communication in a fully literate society. But your words kind of reminded me of the overall conversation. Albert Lord is probably a little more relevant to how we communicate orally. If he doesn't float your boat, you'll just have to wait til some of my stuff gets published :P.
    Yes, in just my brief look at his stuff there were some things I would nuance or ask differently. However, I'm just encouraged to see folks talking about it. -

    - One of the really big challenges in my last parish was people who could not read, in any language. Surprisingly large numbers of poor people can not read. Once I got on to this I was amazed at how much communication in a church is written and how different an oral culture is. -

    I look forward to you getting published. I get to say "I knew him before he became famous!"
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    Senior Member Marsha Lynn's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    Spiritual gift. - Really.

    The short answer is this. Most people's brains process written words visually. (Everyone leans one way or the other on a continuum - Good writers usually have a strong visual component. Good proof readers almost always) My brain has a hard time doing that. I am an extreme audio learner and brain function processor.
    I'm probably at the opposite end of the spectrum from you, but I did find your comments insightful and interesting. I read once someplace -- too long ago to be the internet -- that everyone has an auditory conception of words. Thus, if you dream about a wolf coming after you, it may have to do with your pastor named Wolfe and the intimidation you experience around him. (Extremely weak attempt to pretend that we're still on topic.) That's an obvious connection but the article extended it to homonyms such as "right" and "write." (Can we write out the right priorities for our pastor?) At some basic (subconscious) level, we know such words to be the same sound and will easily substitute one for the other when not focusing on getting them right. I would think chalk and caulk would easily fall into that same pattern and that if I dreamed of having problems with a tube of caulk it could stem from a challenging class I'm taking for which I sometimes have to use chalk to show my work.

    I haven't actually experienced that sort thing in my dreams that I remember. I wonder if some people mentally categorize their words by sound more than others.

    Marsha
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    Senior Member Susan Unger's Avatar

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    Re: Expectations of Pastoral Care

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsha Lynn View Post
    I wonder if some people mentally categorize their words by sound more than others.
    The only area I see myself doing that in is in names. If they sound alike I get them confused. My mother's entire family is like that. I have family with names like Karen, Carolyn, Carole, Karl, Carmen, Krystopf, Christian, Kristen, Christine, and so on....we get so confused. At reunions, I know not to respond primarily to my name, but to my aunt's name because my mother will start calling me by her sister's name.
    Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

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