HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
POTGIETER, Stella D.. Communities: Development of church-based counselling teams. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2015, vol.71, n.2, pp. 01-08. ISSN 2072-8050. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i2.2050.
Pastoral care is a biblical mandate to the Church to be involved in the lives of God's peop A key metaphor used by Jesus to describe his pastoral role was that of a shepherd. Thi to be God's shepherds and instruments of healing and transformation in God's world is imperative to all people, clergy and laity alike. The brokenness in South African society strikingly apparent, exacerbated by the effects of exceptionally high criminal behaviour statistics show. The demand for pastoral care and assistance with various personal proble is on the increase, with many non-church goers turning to churches for help. Also appare in South Africa is the acute shortage of trained individuals to offer care and counselling. T task of offering care is not the sole responsibility of clergy, as all are called to be shepherds a caregivers. The importance and urgency in training church-based counselling teams cannot overstated. More so in that we are becoming increasingly aware that not only are individu in need of care, but whole communities are struggling with trauma and life's challenges, a often do not know whom to turn to. In pursuance of the realisation that pastoral care is t function and duty of all Christians, this article will delineate in particular an explanation lay counselling, reasons for its importance including biblical foundations, where and ho ordinary South Africans can get involved, and will propose certain models and approach for getting started. These models will not be discussed in depth, but present an opportun for the next. Teams for these models consist of professional counsellors, but ought not to restricted to a select few, as all are called to this special ministry and can be trained for t task, which will include on-going supervision and mentoring. The overall purpose of t article is to highlight the urgency of training lay counsellors and some recommendations w be made how to apply it, in an attempt to be faithful to the biblical mandate and examples by Jesus Christ.