In spite of differences in their doctrines, the Christian churches are focused on following the word of the Bible and God’s principles in order to provide the Christians with the feeling of safety.
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The Christians can rely on the necessary support and counseling to feel safe and also protected with references to the pastoral care. Thus, the followers of Pentecostalism discuss the Church as the place to become closer to God because of the personal experience and connection with the Holy Spirit.
The Pentecostal Church works to unite the believers in their intentions to feel the miracle of the Holy Spirit and provides the necessary guidance for the followers.
From this perspective, the theological study of the Pentecostal Church’s principles can be rather helpful to understand the idea of the pastoral care in relation to Pentecostalism because of their obvious connection in ideals.
The Pentecostal Church develops not as the connecting link between God and believers, but as the guide and herald of the good news to stimulate the followers’ personal experience, and the idea of guidance and counseling in relation to the Pentecostals also influences the vision of the pastoral care as the concrete sphere where the guidance can be realized.
The Pentecostal Church as any other church belonging to the contemporary religious movements works to establish the strong connections between pastors and followers in order to contribute to the believers’ personal connection with God and the Holy Spirit.
To contact with the Holy Spirit in order to receive the definite knowledge and experience, the Pentecostals really do not need to organize meetings in churches, but the doctrine of the Pentecostal Church is based on the idea that the church provides the necessary support for all the believers and help them contact with the Holy Spirit not through certain rituals but with the help of strong emotional connections.
Hemeyer pays attention to the fact that “the experience of highly emotional worship and religious ecstasy is the foundation of Pentecostalism”1.
God’s power and knowledge is present in the souls of all the believers, and the Pentecostal Church helps in developing these power and knowledge while focusing on the importance of definite strategies associated with the experiential nature of the faith.
From this point, the idea of pastoral care is closely connected with the principles followed by the Pentecostals because the church and pastors concentrate on providing the necessary guidance to help people in need or hesitant persons find safety, support, and feel God’s love.
The pastoral care is based on the ideas of guiding and healing in relation to those persons who need emotional, physical, or psychological help because of the aspects of their life and experiences.
Patton defines the pastoral care as “the action of a community of faith that celebrates God’s care by also hearing and remembering those who are in some way cut off from the faith community”2.
Pastors in the Christian tradition in general and in Pentecostalism, in particular, are responsible for providing the necessary care for the people in need because of following the main principle of God’s care.
Thus, God cares for the believers, and believers should care for each other in order contribute to their faith and to the stability of the Christian churches.
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From this point, the “function of the pastor involves teaching, preaching, organizing, and other functions that build and strengthen the whole group”3.
Pastors are responsible for those adherents who are seeking for assistance, guidance, and support, and in this case, the Christian pastors perform as shepherds to guide the believers in order to contribute to healing4.
Pastors should demonstrate their wisdom and patience while caring for oppressed and suffering persons because the pastor’s task is to lead them to survive 5.
Thus, the aspects of the pastoral care can be explained in detail with references to the principles of Pentecostalism because pastors need to establish emotional connection and rapport while guiding, and the Pentecostals significantly rely on the emotions and feelings to experience the divine presence.
The Church of the Pentecostals is based on the principles of guidance through the effective leadership of pastors. Thus, the idea of charismatic leadership in relation to pastors also influences the vision of the pastoral care.
According to the principles of the Pentecostal Church, pastors should demonstrate their leadership qualities in order to lead the followers to healing and feeling safe without references to difficult living conditions. That is why, the pastoral care in Pentecostalism is based on the idea of charisma.
These facts can affect the person’s approach to discussing the aspects of the pastoral care in relation to this Christian denomination.
The knowledge of the doctrine, according to which the Pentecostal Church function and provides the necessary support for the followers contributes to understanding the pastoral care and forming a specific approach to these activities.
Thus, the adherents of Pentecostalism focus on their personal contacts with the Holy Spirit in order to receive the definite knowledge and the hope for healing with references to their own experiences6.
The Pentecostals try to understand the role in the society in relation to their faith, and the worship becomes extremely emotional and personal in their nature.
In this case, pastors belonging to the Pentecostal Church should establish close relations with the believers in need because the emotional contact and personal experience are highly valued in this church.
The understanding of the above-mentioned aspects is necessary to form the personal approach to the pastoral care. Thus, it is possible to determine the concepts and ideas which are necessary to perform as the guide and counselor.
The pastor is the effective charismatic leader who is responsible for those persons suffering from different problems and for those persons who need the emotional and psychological support, which can lead to the personal healing.
Referring to the ideals of the Pentecostal Church, it is possible to state that the pastoral care is represented in the form of spiritual practices and practical approaches to help the adherents in their experiential contacts with the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, pastors’ activities and words should be based only on spirituality and the word God because pastors are responsible for preaching and teaching the word of God to the followers of the Pentecostal Church.
There are no forgotten believers for pastors because they are leaders in the church who can guide and support effectively with references not to their authority, but because of charisma.
The pastoral care is reflected not only in the concrete activities performed by pastors in order to build the strong community but also in those ideas and visions expressed for the public in order to contribute to their personal healing and experiencing God’s wisdom7.
Thus, the approach to the pastoral care can also depend on the ideals of collaboration, the open dialogue, charismatic leadership representing in the active support, necessary spiritual development, and necessary conversions to contribute to the spiritual growth.
Thus, the ecclesiology in relation to the Pentecostal Church can influence the understanding of the idea of the pastoral care significantly.
It is important to note that the visions shared by the followers of Pentecostalism are correlated with the basic principles of the pastoral care without references to the concrete Christian denomination.
Pentecostalism is based on the importance of the personal experience and the church is perceived as the place where a believer can receive the necessary support to develop his faith and abilities to contact the Holy Spirit.
Pastors in the Pentecostal Church are guides to assist believers to understand God’s word and the Holy Spirit’s power.
That is why, the vision of the pastoral care in general, as the aspect of the Christian tradition, can be explained with references to the concept and ideals of the pastoral care shared by the Pentecostals, and it is important to pay attention to the fact that these two visions are not contradictory.
The ideals of the pastoral care are accentuated in relation to the Pentecostal Church and doctrine explaining the significance of such care for believers.
Although the principles of the pastoral care are similar in relation to different Christian denominations, the analysis of the concept with references to the doctrine of the Pentecostal Church is important to determine the aspects of the personal approach to the pastoral care.
Asquith, Glenn. The Concise Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling. USA: Abingdon Press, 2010. Print.
Hemeyer, Julia. Religion in America. USA: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.
Kujawa-Holbrook, Sheryl, and Karen Montagno. Injustice and the Care of Souls: Taking Oppression Seriously in Pastoral Care. USA: Fortress Press, 2009. Print.
Patton, John. Pastoral Care: An Essential Guide. USA: Abingdon Press, 2010. Print.
1 Julia Hemeyer, Religion in America (USA: Prentice Hall, 2010), 198.
2 John Patton, Pastoral Care: An Essential Guide (USA: Abingdon Press, 2010), 1-2.
3 Ibid., 2.
4 Ibid., 2-3.
5 Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook and Karen Montagno, Injustice and the Care of Souls: Taking Oppression Seriously in Pastoral Care (USA: Fortress Press, 2009), 89.
6 Julia Hemeyer, Religion in America, 198-204.
7 Glenn Asquith, The Concise Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling (USA: Abingdon Press, 2010), 64-71.