The Pastor as Counselor

As the pastor takes on a role in the community as a leader in social, civic or political areas, it should be understood by the clergy, the congregation, and the community that he/she represents the church in that leadership role, Seldom can a pastor hold separate positions without conflicts arising in either one or both. But if the church is led into social, civic or political activities, many community problems can be effectively resolved, more than could be done by the pastor alone. Anything not appropriate for the church’s involvement should not be part of the minister’s work in the community.

Sometimes it is necessary that the pastor and church stand against activities in the community. When this is necessary, they should do so boldly and forcefully. The real needs of the community can be faced and solved more effectively through group actions which anticipate and advance positive programs that build the spiritual atmosphere in the community. This is a role that only the Church can provide as it is led by community-conscious pastors.

The clergy should alert the church to community needs by making announcements from the pulpit, calling special meetings to address the problem, and appointing committees or delegating responsibility to capable hands selected from the church membership. Moral and spiritual implications of community problems should also be addressed from the pulpit.

Most of all, as with other problems faced by the church and its ministry, the pastor should lead the congregation to call upon and claim divine control over the life of the church and its membership and seek spiritual guidance in all its activities, both public and private. As the church responds to the leadership of Christ, it will find itself and its pastor involved in every area of community life, transferring the love of Christ to all in need.