Caring: Six Steps for Effective Pastoral Conversations

Caring: Six Steps for Effective Pastoral Conversations

by Denise Massey

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Caring: Six Steps for Effective Pastoral Conversations is designed to help ministers and pastoral care givers solve one of their most significant problems. They are called upon to “fix” all manner of human problems, and this expectation often leaves them feeling overwhelmed, highly stressed, or woefully unprepared. Help is available! Author Denise Massey will teach readers how to coach people to access their own spiritual and personal resources, invoking both God’s help and the person’s own deep inner wisdom. 

The six steps of the CARING process can transform ministry conversations from floundering and uncertain to powerful and effective. These steps of facilitating powerful problem-solving conversation are ones that the minister and the person receiving care taake together.  The acronym CARING will help the minister remember both the steps and the ultimate purpose of the conversation.

C  Connect with God, self, and others.
A  Attend to the journey and assess the need.
R  Reach clarity about the realistic focus for this conversation.
I  Inspire the development of a loving action plan.
N Navigate around obstacles to the plan.
G  Generate commitment to a specific, loving action plan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501884597
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 822 KB

About the Author

Denise Massey is the Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University.  She received an MDiv in Pastoral Care, a ThM in Pastoral Care and a PhD in Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Care from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to coming to McAfee, Dr. Massey was the Director of Pastoral Care and Clinical Pastoral Education at Kindred Hospital in Louisville where she led the hospital to be accredited as a teaching site with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. At McAfee, Dr. Massey advises students who are interested in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, in addition to teaching courses in Spiritual Care, Emotional Intelligence for Ministry & Leadership, Dreams as a Resource for Spiritual Care, Spiritual Care with Addicted Persons, Spiritual Care through Coaching, and Spiritual Formation.

Massey is a Certified Supervisor with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education. She is also a Life Coach, a member of the International Coaching Federation, and a member of the Society for Pastoral Theology and Spiritual Directors International.  

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xviii

Problems Ministers Experience xviii

Solutions This Book Offers xxi

Coaching as a Resource for Ministers xxiii

An Integrated Process (Pastoral Care, Spiritual Direction, and Coaching) xxv

Overview of the Six Steps (CARING) xxvi

Overview of the Book xxviii

How to Use This Book xxxi

Chapter 1 Step 1: Connect with God, Self, and Others 1

Your Long-Term Preparation 1

Your Short-Term Preparation: Before the Conversation 3

Begin the Conversation (Scheduled Meetings) 12

Introduce the Process 14

Guide the Connecting Experience 16

Begin the Conversation (Unscheduled Requests for Help) 18

Make the Decision 19

Establish the Agreement 20

Appropriately Maintain the Agreement 20

Pitfalls to Avoid 21

How to Know You Have Completed This Step 23

Chapter 2 Step 2: Attend to the Journey and Assess the Need 25

Listen Well 26

Respond (Let the Other Know You Are Listening) 29

Begin the Attending Step 30

Topics to Avoid while Attending 35

Pitfalls to Avoid while Attending 39

Assess the Need 40

Pitfalls to Avoid while Assessing the Need 42

Integrating Previous Steps and Ongoing Use of This Step 43

How to Know You Have Completed This Step 45

Chapter 3 Step 3: Reach Clarity about the Realistic Focus for This Conversation 47

How a Clear Focus Helps 48

Reach Clarity 49

How to Develop Good Goals 50

When the Person Has Difficulty Choosing a Goal 52

Assess the Chosen Goal 55

Conclude This Step 58

Pitfalls to Avoid 58

Integrating Previous Steps and Ongoing Use of This Step 60

Blending Steps Two and Three 61

The Hourglass Image 61

How to Know You Have Completed This Step 62

Chapter 4 Step 4: Inspire the Development of a Loving Action Plan 63

When the Congregant Creates a Plan Immediately after Clarifying the Focus 64

Introduce This Step 66

Develop an Inspired Action Plan 76

When Developing an Action Plan Is Difficult 77

Assess the Plan 80

Pitfalls to Avoid 80

Integrating Previous Steps and Ongoing Use of This Step 82

How to Know You Have Completed This Step 83

Chapter 5 Step 5: Navigate around Obstacles 85

Introduce and Begin This Step 87

A Conversational Process 87

When There Are Several Obstacles 88

Getting around an Obstacle 90

More In-Depth Help 91

When the Obstacle Is a Thought 92

When the Obstacle Is a Feeling 94

When the Obstacle Is an Action or Inaction 97

Pitfalls to Avoid 99

Integrating Previous Steps and Ongoing Use of This Step 100

How to Know You Have Completed This Step 101

Chapter 6 Step 6: Generate Commitment to a Specific, Loving Action Plan 103

Generate Commitment to a Specific Plan of Action 104

The Importance of Specifics 106

Review the Action Plan 110

Support and Encourage 110

Make a Plan for Accountability 111

Conclude the Conversation 113

Pitfalls to Avoid 114

Integrating Previous Steps and Ongoing Use of This Step 115

How to Know You Have Completed This Step 117

Conclusion 119

Overview 119

Applications to Ministry 122

Next Steps 123

Notes 127

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