Ask any pastor (as numerous surveys have done) what is the most difficult and even intimidating aspect of their ministry, and they will tell you “pastoral counseling.”
You and I struggle to live and love like Christ. In our struggle, God has implanted in our heart a desire to be more like Christ. But how does this occur?
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I believe the church should lead the way in comprehensive and compassionate care for all people facing intense mental and emotional struggles.
Will God say to us and our churches, “Well done, thou good and faithful shepherds of the weak and sick”? Or, will God nouthetically confront us and our churches saying, “I am against you false shepherds who refuse to minister compassionately to my weak and sick sheep”?
It wasn’t in the medical doctors of the day where the mentally ill found compassionate care. It was in Luther. And how did Luther care like Christ?