Why is BVBC launching the Pastoral Care Initiative?
Following in the pattern of Jesus, our Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18), it is the responsibility of church and family leaders to shepherd those entrusted to their care. The apostle Peter gives the clear command, “shepherd the flock of God that is among you . . .” (1 Peter 5: 2). Shepherding is central in the life of the church. For shepherding to be done well at a large church, it must be valued by the staff pastors and the responsibility must be shared among lay shepherds.
What are the goals of the Pastoral Care Initiative?
- To ensure that every member and a greater number of attendees are shepherded
- To improve our congregations’ connections with the church body
- To “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12)
- To understand the needs of each individual/family and to help the individual/family identify additional resources in the church or community
- To support members and families during times of stress or need through prayer, care and encouragement
- To facilitate the communication of concerns, suggestions and needs to the pastoral staff and leadership
How will shepherding be structured?
The BVBC Staff Pastors will have direct oversight and be meeting monthly with the Lay Shepherd Team. Currently there are nine Lay Shepherds or Shepherding Couples who will each be assigned a certain number of members and some attendees. All members will be assigned either a staff pastor or a lay shepherd based on existing relationships and need priorities. Not all attendees will be assigned a Lay Shepherd, but we encourage attendees who would like more shepherding to contact our Staff Pastors. We will do our best to provide shepherding to attendees through a mix of lay shepherds, pastors and other care resources. We also encourage attendees to make the commitment to membership. The Lay Shepherds will also partner with other ministries for additional care and support such as Stephen Ministry, small groups, support groups, benevolence, etc.
What are the expectations of Shepherds and congregants?
Lay Shepherds will extend Christ-like care to each congregant by reaching out to them on a regular basis to build relationships, pray, provide counsel, and help with pastoral or other needs that our church families/individuals may have. We expect our congregation to respond to emails and phone calls and to look to the Lay Shepherds for pastoral guidance and care.
Who should I contact if I have more questions about the Pastoral Care Initiative?
Please reach out to Pastor Nate Keeler for any questions you have about shepherding in the life of BVBC.