PastorCare Training For...
The National Clergy Support Network
by Dr. Bert Moore
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3...
7:10 LEGAL AID
The fourth category is the legal area. If the Apostle Paul had not known the legal system he would have never made it out of Jerusalem to get to Rome for God to do with him what he did and the books he wrote and the witness he had around the world. He used that.
And Moses, too, if he had not been willing to submit to others to help him with judgment cases in Israel, he might have been physically worn out, burned out and dead. But there were caregivers that recognized that and said, let us help you with the judications. This is a very important area.
I can tell you personal stories--like the one who said to me, “Our entire retirement would have been wiped out if it hadn’t been for you all at PastorCare.” He was referred to us by a major denomination because they could not help him, and they knew we would. A disgruntled refugee was suing him. You know, in every church there are always people who are disgruntled in a church that is a hospital for sinners--broken people who will take their pain out on the pastor. This particular disgruntled refugee filed a lawsuit against the man that was helping him get into this country. He said, “If I had lost that, I could not afford a lawyer. If it had not been for you all at PastorCare, I would have lost my entire retirement. We are indebted to you and the Lord for your ministry to this day.” Legal aid for pastors...
The fifth category, which is very vital and dear to my heart, is the area of healthcare. It’s for dentists, doctors--Christian physicians and dentists, to invite them to be a part of this ministry. We have direct access to the Christian Medical and Dental Association. There are over 14,000 physicians and dentists ready through PastorCare to help hurting pastors. They are not always in the right spot where we need them in the country, so we have a whole thing to work through to find them, many times through local churches. If Pastors do not have adequate health care and insurance, there are programs like the Samaritan program out of Melbourne, Florida, that we refer them to by simply calling 1-800-Psalm23. We see if they can help them get a plan. If they are non-drinkers and non-smokers and at least one year off of a major disease--healthy for one year, they offer opportunities to get into the Samaritan program. It is a very good program--alternative insurance at much less cost.
With each of the categories, speaking with lawyers, speaking with physicians and dentists, as we discover, and there are helpful hints, in the manual, you speak to each of them very differently. Particularly men and women who are in the area of physicians, counselors and lawyers, time is money. Where with a prayer intercessor, they won’t charge him for that. Often times the getaway people aren’t that way either--or mentors.
In those three areas we have to be very, very careful and it’s tough getting in past secretaries. Randy can give us some hints on that. I can talk to people beyond this video about some of the ways we get to physicians that are terribly, terribly busy. One of the ways is once you’ve made contact, in your own town, if you are a regional coordinator, and you made contact with one dentist or one lawyer, they will know others. Their main contribution to you may be a referral source as our good surgeon on our board is with physicians in the Raleigh area. Often he will make a call for us and persuade them to help needy pastors in the medical area.
To screen for need, there are a lot of key questions to be asked, and they are in the manual to ask pastors in that category five.
In category six, that is the area of Christian counselors. This is obviously the area where a prayer partner will not work. One of my classic stories is the lady who called in tears and said, “My husband was caught fondling a woman in his office. He has been forced to resign.” I asked her how he’s doing and she said, “He’s in the office at the house now just crying and crying and crying uncontrollably.” She said, “I can’t go to him, he’s no help. I don’t know what we’re going to do because I’m just a part-time librarian downtown and our family can’t live now that he’s lost a $40,000 a year job. Where do I go to get rid of all my anger over what has taken place and what he’s done?
This is obviously more than what you would want to refer simply to a prayer partner, so we connect her at PastorCare to a lady counselor in a nearby town where she could go and receive the professional counseling she desperately needed.
It is very important when talking with counselors, because many people say they are counselors, and there is counseling at all kinds of levels--there are specific types of surgeons, specific types of lawyers, but you don’t know with counselors if they are really good at dealing with sexual addiction, or with youth, or with the elderly, or in the specific area in which they are qualified to minister. Whether they are psychologist, or a psychiatrist with a medical degree and can prescribe medication for a particular situation. You do not know until you ask what their level of counsel is, and what their strengths are as a caregiver before you even connect them. Questions like that are critical to be asked.
Also in the whole area of spirituality, in this day and age, you do not know if a counselor is open to pray with a perspective hurting pastor/spouse, and you happen to know that the pastor/spouse comes out of an evangelical church, or they come out of a very liberal church where they don’t expect prayer, just give me the counsel, depending on who you are dealing with, you need to ask the counselor, you don’t want to offend them, but, I have a lady that comes out of a conservative denomination and we need to know if you all will pray with her and initiate a prayer as you all sit down together. You get clues there whether you are dealing with a right or the best match. But always sharing, particularly in this category six, sharing with the pastor or the pastor’s spouse that if the match doesn’t work, usually they will know in that first free counseling session, or with the lawyers, when they meet the first time (they usually do not charge that first initial session) whether that looks like a fit, a match, somebody that’s compatible, somebody you believe is going to be helpful to you.
Are there any questions in that area? That’s a very, very sensitive area. We need to find out in those caregiver forms that come back in, as much about that counselor as we can in terms of their qualifications.
The last section is mentors, somebody who comes alongside, usually an older pastor. The 1990-1991 statistics 90 percent of pastors have said that at least in some area of their ministry they have felt inadequate to meet the ministry demands--the seminary did not tell you. The Minirth-Meier team has a neat book entitled, All the Things They Didn’t Tell You at Seminary. It is in our library at PastorCare. They need a mentor.
Often times guys will call us at PastorCare and say, I have a deacon meeting tonight. I am dealing with this issue. Can you give me a little advice? I know Pastor Wayne does--he’s prone to do that. That’s ok sometimes. The guy asks...you can say, “Well, this is just my opinion...” Sometimes that might be very helpful, if asked.
These mentors come from all walks of life. We’ve got chaplains; we’ve got professors at seminaries that have taken on one. Up at State College in Pennsylvania one professor took on two pastors and mentored them. Said, “I’d be glad to.”
Any questions about these seven categories? I have included in the manual some of the resources with Minirth and Meier. Somewhere you can get career surveys done, and there are career survey centers across the country. H. B. London has a series of ten questions that he raises in what to expect in a Christian counselor. I encourage all the caregivers and the staff and regionals to read that. He’s got good questions to help you screen for the right counselor.
Finally, coming out of Bible broadcasting network, since all that we are and all that we have comes out of God’s love, there is a beautiful piece that I have included, that deals with each line of 1 Corinthians 13, which may help caregivers as they think about loving these pastors as Swindoll has said, loving on them so that they will know and feel the security of the love of God, maybe through one of us at PastorCare.
There are a couple of additional little pages...one is a letter I included at the request of one of our former volunteer staff who was trying to raise funds so that he could be in the ministry of PastorCare. For the record, almost all of our regional coordinators are part-time. It would certainly be my wish if we ever got a strong grant, like the Lily Foundation or some wealthy person across the country, that we could put $20,000-25,000 in each of our regional coordinator’s sites--that they could have that live voice on the line more often and at least a live secretary, a person that loves the Lord and a live voice instead of the answering machine. That’s my prayer and I ask you to pray to the Lord for that He would allow that to happen at some point.
But I have included a letter to help people to be informed, that they could use--a sample letter. It just informs people as to where you are serving and might encourage them to be a part of your support network, designating funds for the ministry.
Finally, a sheet, the regional ministries, because a number of them will ask what is unique about the regional coordinators and what do they do? I have included a sheet on that. Obviously, two things--they love the Lord above all, and God has called them to be a regional coordinator because they have a heart not only the Lord, but they have a heart for pastors at the grass root sense. Praise God, I feel so blessed personally that the Lord has raised up quite a number of regional coordinators that fulfill those first two qualifications, a love for the Lord and a love for pastors, the spiritual leaders in the community. We have included some other qualifications in there too, some other suggestions. They need to have a facility in the community that they can feed and house up to 30-50 people for regional gatherings from time to time. That they are willing to go out to visit pastors in there prayer groups and ecumenical groups around the community. And they are willing to go out to churches and call forth the body of Christ to be caregivers in this critical ministry.
I just happen to have you note, that this is the most critical ministry in the nation today. There are so many ministries that are trying to fix things physically, and spiritually for people in the nation, to help people live longer with their cancer or with multiple sclerosis, or diabetes, affordable housing, and the like, but that is not going to keep America necessarily strong. The Lord knew that, and showed us that in His Word. If we are willing to take up our cross and follow Him, to be His caregivers, and servants and help as under-shepherds, we will keep everybody’s eyes upon the Lord, and if we do, we will be healthy and our children and grandchildren will be healthy in this nation.
On that, to God be all the glory and the praise.
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Dr. Bert Moore, Founder 1900-2000