Remember that your job is to enhance the lives of
others. . .not to live their lives for them! You have seen that there
are some problems that reach beyond the depth of your experience and
Likewise, there is a limit to how much you can do for
While you may feel less guilty yourself by taking on
responsibilities that are not yours, you are simultaneously robbing
the person you sought to serve of the very strength and lessons those
responsibilities teach them.
That does not support them; it weakens
them. Get others to take responsibility for helping themselves.
Detractions from Taking Responsibility.
Some people seeking your counsel (or whom you seek out) are experiencing
feelings of helplessness. They seek your help because they falsely believe
or feel they can't help themselves. To demand that they act in a certain
way, or to do it for them, is to perpetuate their error.
Some of the best solutions you can offer are support, hope and assisting
those you counsel to see the options available to them. You see that there
are always options, some better than others in different times and
But the responsibility for exercising those options is theirs. The pastor
can then say to the person being supported: "Here are the options we have
.now what do you choose to do?
You have seen
options you were not aware of before. It's up to you to make the choice".
Your goal is to empower them to take responsibility and support them in the
choices they make, not to make choices for them.
This concludes the discussions on developing a network of pastoral support.
We discussed seven basic assumptions that you will encounter when
ministering to peers, and the reasons some people fail to take
responsibility for their own situations. We will now discuss peer pastoring
PART D - PEER PASTORING TIPS
Pastoring your peers is sometimes difficult, as you have seen by all it
But it is not something foreign to you.
It is part of your
nature and your ministry. It is like exercising a muscle you have but do
not often use. Yet the more you use it, the more natural it becomes.