Guidelines for the Journey

9. First aid on the journey

In the Fellowship of Christ, we give help and encouragement to everyone, but we donít give advice unless it is asked for.† People donít always want to be given advice and unsolicited advice breeds resentment (Jeremiah 43.1-4).

10. Care on the journey

Pastoral care is a two-way commitment and can be given only where there is a willingness to receive and respond.† Where there is no willingness to receive and respond, pastoral care becomes impossible (3 John).

Individual care may be given on a one to one basis for special situations for a limited time as required, but the bulk of pastoral care is given in the gatherings for prayer, worship, Bible study and preaching.† If attendance at these gatherings becomes erratic, pastoral care becomes less effective.† Where attendance becomes occasional or non-existent, the two-way link is broken and pastoral care can no longer be effective.† In fact, it ceases to exist (Hebrews 10.23-25).

Pastoral care is not pushed on anyone.† It is freely given, freely accepted.† Neither imposed nor demanded (Romans 14.1)

11. Travelling light on the journey

People were important to Jesus.† He accepted them as they were.†† He ate with them; he talked with them; he prayed with them; and he ministered to them.† He treated everyone as individuals, not as a group.† Everyone was important (Matthew 18.12-14)

That is the way we want things to be in the Fellowship.† We donít want to get bogged down in organisations and endless committees.† We want to keep things simple so that people remain at the heart of the Fellowship.† Jesus cares not for institutions, but for changed lives (Luke 19.1-10).

12. Respect for one another on the journey

There is a lot of freedom in the Fellowship, but freedom means that weíve got to think of others.† Weíve got to make sure that we donít overdo our own freedom to the point where we stand on someone elseís toes!† We have to respect one another (Philippians 2.1-4).

Respect for one another means that we accept one another as God in Christ accepted us (Romans 15.7).† God has accepted us with all our failings and sins and imperfections.† We, in turn, accept one another in the same way.† We donít criticise and judge one another.† We accept one another.† God is judge.† We are not God!† Our attitude to one another determines how God responds to us (Matthew 5.7).

We need to be aware, intensely aware, that we too are guilty of sin and look to our own lives and not to the lives of others (Matthew 7.1-5).

 

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Fellowship of Christ

Dunfermline, Scotland.