What is the difference between Pastoral Care and the Counselling Ministry?

Pastoral Care and Pastoral Counselling are two ways of facilitating integrated healing and transformation. However, there is a clear distinction between care needs and counselling needs. Pastoral Care and Pastoral Counselling are interlinked but different forms of Pastoral Ministry. The two disciplines are equally important and complementary, yet distinct in nature.

Pastoral Care emphasises practical ways of making God concrete to people. The care givers initiate and go to people in need. The Bible and prayers can be used freely.

Pastoral Counselling has more an emotional helping character in nature, and happens in an arranged and structured way. Time and venue play a critical role in facilitating this process. It requires specific training and professional supervision; and is interdisciplinary. Pastoral counselling is a lay ministry and is spiritually overseen by the pastor. In counselling the troubled person initiates and comes for counselling – not the other way around. Understanding people’s needs first, creates a healing and transforming context.

Many people today are under enormous amounts of emotional, social, spiritual, mental, financial, political, physical, and economical stress that leads to multi-dimensional problems. This impacts negatively on individuals, families, systems (such as churches, schools, the workplace), and ultimately, on the community/society. These multi-dimensional needs present a pastoral challenge to the local church. The Glen is equipping ourselves to respond to this challenge. The NCCDM believes that the local church is best positioned to meet these needs. The church is firstly perceived as a warm and caring environment, and often the first place people who have problems/needs come to. The Counselling Ministry is important and unique.