Pastoral Care in Action Through the Example of the Apostle Paul and His Dealings with Philemon and Onesimus.
Submitted By Titohesso
Pastoral Care in action through the example of the Apostle Paul and his dealings with Philemon and Onesimus.
1. Introduction Pastoral care is a faithful ministry towards people who are in need. This ministry comes from a genuine concern for each person, caring about him as person of unique worth, and caring for him as a mutual responsibility. The Bible has many examples of care giving and it has been a constant guide for pastors in helping people who are in need. As such, this paper is an attempt to look at Pastoral Care in action through the example of the Apostle Paul and his dealings with Philemon and Onesimus.
2. The Apostle Paul: A Model for Pastoral Care A study on Apostle Paul in the New Testament will further enhance our understanding of Pastoral Care in the church. It is surprising how little attention has been directed to the apostle Paul as pastor.1 This is unfortunate, particularly because Paul’s letters are themselves the product of his pastoral activities and offer us direct and immediate access to them. 2 Moreover, we have Paul’s own testimony that his pastoral concerns loomed large in his apostolic work. After presenting a lengthy recital of his apostolic hardships he adds, ―And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches‖ (II Cor. 11:28). This is not mere rhetoric; the truth of this comment is validated on every page of the apostle’s letters. There, one sees him dealing with the needs of those for whose nurture in Christ he obviously cares very deeply. 3 All Paul’s writings, even Romans, were written in response to pastoral needs, although not always in response to specific pastoral problems. 4 They demonstrate more explicitly than any other part of Scripture the connection between Christian living and Christian truth. We also see in Paul a compassionate counselor and pastoral care giver....