Changing church to be 'love with skin on'
Paraclesis is a term that is found over 140 times in the New Testament. It means to come alongside and this verse illustrates the principle: "He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us." 2 Cor 4 MSG
A church leader I know who is very outward, community focused with a heart for the poor, is taking the church through a new six-week course from CWR, 'Paraclesis: Journeying Together'. It encourages people to come alongside people who are struggling with life’s challenges. It offers the Church a fresh perspective on pastoral care and journeying together – the way that God journeys alongside us.
By embracing the heart of Paraclesis and benefitting from all the accompanying resources including sermon outlines, small group notes, etc., a church can develop a fresh culture of care.
The benefits for a church are seen as:
It enables ordinary people to take their personal experiences and turn them into a gift of support and care for others around them.
It helps unite the whole church. The church learns and grows together in knowledge, strengthening their community and their ability to come alongside one another.
It shifts the perspective and focus away from the pastoral care being solely the responsibility of the church leader and involves the whole church in developing the culture of care.
It is easy to administer in a church; ready-made resources eliminate planning, writing and creating time. As soon as your church has decided that it wants to be a people who care for one another – you are ready to go.
It enables your church to become a more caring community, reaching out into the neighbourhood at the point of felt need. By connecting through the gift of each individual journey we can reach out to each other and the wider community, significantly impacting a lost and broken world.
The author, Trevor Partridge, co-founder of CWR, explains more in this short video:
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Geoff Knott, 14/11/2016