Pastoral Care in a Market Economy, a Caribbean Perspective

Pastoral Care in a Market Economy, a Caribbean Perspective

Pastoral Care in a Market Economy, a Caribbean Perspective

Pastoral Care in a Market Economy, a Caribbean Perspective

Synopsis

This volume examines pastoral care in a market economy from a Caribbean perspective.

Excerpt

Short-term missions work is a wonderful way to open your life to Christ. You can never tell what the Lord will ask of you or what kinds of people he will bring across your path. On my first mission trip to Jamaica I met an intense young man of God, Revd Stanley Redwood, Dean of Jamaica Bible College in Mandeville. For his purposes God has chosen to knit our hearts together. Each succeeding trip has brought us closer until my wife and I now look upon Stanley as a son in the faith and his family as our own.

Missions trips also present you with the challenges of understanding another culture. The Gospel never changes, but its social context does. Learning how to present the Gospel in a new context forces you to go deeper into your faith, strip away everything that is from your own culture, and find the core of the Gospel. Along the way you are challenged to reexamine your own culture.

I have found that much of what I accepted as normal Christianity turns out to be tradition rather than Christ. For example, Americans often accept the idea that there is something profoundly Christian about a capitalistic society. In the US it is difficult to challenge that assumption. I remember the first deep discussion that I had with Stanley during which he explained that there were many aspects of a capitalistic society that troubled him.

Jamaica's change to a free market economy and accompanying cuts in its social programmes were placing a good deal of stress on the social fabric of the country. Stanley asked the very difficult question, "How should the Church respond?" Many times since I have asked the questions: "How should I change?", and "How should the church respond to the needs of the American society?"

Stanley was (and is) also very concerned about the training of pastors for the Jamaican Church. Traditional methods seem to be failing to produce the quality and quantity of pastors needed. What should the Church adopt as a theology of practical pastoral care that will work in the present difficult cultural setting. How should the present system be changed? Again, our discussions have led me to ask: "How should I change?", and "How should the American church change?"

Stanley has examined these questions and others in this book. In this very readable volume he covers key aspects of the pastoral ministry and training. Drawing on his experience as a pastor and a trainer of pastors, he deals with the pastor as person, prophet, priest, counsellor, and administrator. His ideas will challenge you. Accept the challenge, read, ponder, enjoy. Perhaps you will see your own situation in a new light and ask some new questions. You will grow from the experience.

Herbert Sutter, PhD
Pastor for Evangelism and Missions
Northgate Community Church
Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

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