Pastoral work is not exclusively confined to pastors or church staff members; instead, it extends to every Christian who practices shepherding towards their colleagues, parents, spouses, and children.
Min, a female believer, shared her faith experience with the Chinese online Christian newspaper Christian Times, emphasizing that Christians can nurture the Lord's flock regardless of their position or job title.
Having graduated from a prestigious university in China, she developed an interest in the church through her Christian grandmother. As a student, she underwent extensive Bible training at the church, which motivated her to utilize her compassion for souls in evangelization and scripture teaching.
Initially, she believed that pastoral ministry was the most important service that pastors offered. However, after serving for some years, Min resigned from the ministry and shifted towards a job in a company while pursuing her studies in theology.
Amid various business projects, technical assignments, managerial positions, interpersonal interactions, and presentations involving speeches, PowerPoint slides, videos, and reports, she effectively fulfilled her work obligations. Furthermore, she dedicated time to offer spiritual support to her colleagues. Min acknowledged that pastoral care could be administered in diverse settings, and Christians could shepherd individuals from any position.
After five years, she departed from the business environment and returned to serve in the church, with a primary focus on intercession and visitations. Some people sought assistance from the church, while others required compassionate communication and personal visits from church workers at their residences.
During this phase, she has acquired a deeper understanding of serving others through kneeling and praying. When confronted with believers' problems, instead of passing judgment herself, she sought God's will and guidance, perceiving them as God sees them and extending assistance accordingly.
Despite not being an official pastor of the church, Min acknowledged that every visit and reception she conducted constituted a pastoral service for the soul. Throughout each interaction, prayers, words, and companionship were shared through the love of the Lord.
Having learned to play the piano in the church, she believes that those who play the piano and sing hymns are also "shepherds". She explained, "Whenever you lead a hymn or play the piano, you must clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus. The congregation is not merely listening to your singing or piano playing; they are also perceiving Jesus through your worship. You have the responsibility to bring people to Jesus and instill faith, love, and hope in their hearts."
Within the family, children receive pastoral care, and in turn, they influence their parents. During this period, they are also shepherding their parents, she added.
In the family, children receive pastoral care, and in return, they influence their parents. At this time, they are also shepherding their parents.
"Pastoring is the destiny of all mankind, and no one can escape it. No matter where you are, you should care for others' spirituality. Conversely, it is the destiny of all people to be shepherds."
- Translated by Abigail Wu