This is part of the ministry resources on Christian Counseling and Pastoral Care, which draws a distinction between general Pastoral Care and more specialized Pastoral Counseling. The ministry resources listed below pertain to the general work of Pastoral Care as commonly practiced by church leaders. A separate guide is devoted to Pastoral Counseling.
Another important work among Christian leaders is Spiritual Care, which although overlapping significantly with Pastoral Care and Pastoral Counseling, is usually categorized in the field of spiritual direction, which will be included in the ministry resources on Spiritual Formation.
The ministry resources are listed under the following categories:
- Pastoral Care — Spiritual and Theological Foundations
- Pastoral Care — General Practice
- Pastoral Care — Guides to Hospital Visit
- Pastoral Care — Crisis Care
- Pastoral Care — Listening Skills
- Pastoral Care — Weddings and Funerals
- Related Ministry Resources
Pastoral Care — Spiritual and Theological Foundations
- Lynn Anderson, They Smell Like Sheep: Spiritual Leadership for the 21st Century — A theologically rich case for ministry as defined by the metaphor of shepherding.
Other Helpful Volumes:
- Robert C. Dykstra, Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings — An excellent collection of articles from leading authors on the various ways of conceiving of pastoral care.
- David Hansen, The Art of Pastoring: Ministry Without All the Answers — A compelling image of the minister becoming a parable of Christ through the challenges, celebrations and day-to-day experience of ministry. Not a book on “doing” but “being” a person whose life becomes the presence of Christ.
- E. Brooks Holifield, A History of Pastoral Care in America: From Salvation to Self-Realization — A unique exploration of how the pastoral role has shifted over the centuries from the salvation of the soul to facilitating self-realization.
- Calvin Miller, O Shepherd, Where Art Thou? – Gives helpful perspectives and provides reflective pieces on the tendency to be preoccupied with rhetorical flare, church size and numbers, glamour, and celebrity.
- Henri J. M. Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup? – An excellent call to pastoral identification with those who experience life’s deepest pains and thus value life’s simplest joys.
- E. Glenn Wagner, Escape from Church, Inc.: The Return of the Pastor-Shepherd — A thoughtful and passionate call away from CEO models to one of relational shepherding.
Pastoral Care — General Practice
- Jeane Stevenson-Moessner, A Primer in Pastoral Care: Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series — The title, “Primer” describes this book well. It is an excellent introductory guide to the many facets of pastoral caregiving. Designed for those new to pastoral work.
Other Helpful Volumes:
- Nancy J. Gorsuch, Pastoral Visitation: Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series — Offers good instruction on taking initiative, purposeful visitation, active listening, pastoral assessment, ethical conduct, and visitation guidelines.
- John Killinger, The Tender Shepherd — Perhaps the most creative and practical guide on helping ministers become a pastoral presence in their congregations.
- John Patton, Pastoral Care: An Essential Guide – Outlines the quintessential elements pastors need to wisely minister in today’s context by discussing four major kinds of lostness: grief, illness, abuse, and family challenges.
- Charles W. Taylor, The Skilled Pastor — A practical training book that details the specific skills necessary for sound pastoral guidance in various situations.
Pastoral Care — Hospital Visitation
- Neville H. Kirkwood, Pastoral Care in Hospitals – Probably the most comprehensive of the few books specific to helping the sick in hospitals, hostels, and homes.
Other Helpful Volumes:
- Arthur H. Becker, The Compassionate Visitor: Resources for Ministering to People Who Are Ill – Excellent introduction and guide for both ministers and others who provide spiritual care for the hospitalized.
- Perry H. Biddle, A Hospital Visitation Manual – Long recognized as the classic on this subject, though perhaps surpassed today by newer works.
- Michael L. Kirkindoll, The Hospital Visit: A Pastor’s Guide – A sensitive and helpful guide for the beginning minister adjusting to the hospital soul care role.
- Katie Maxwell, Bedside Manners: A Practical Guide to visiting the Ill – A useful volume on how to be and not be, what to do and not do, and what to say and not say in visiting hospitals, nursing homes, shut-ins, children, terminally ill, and in helping caregivers. Good companion alongside Kirkwood.
- Lawrence D. Reimer and James T. Wagner, The Hospital Handbook: A Practical Guide to Hospital Visitation – Describes today’s hospitals and health care facilities, and how the minister may find entry as a respected team member to facilitate the spiritual dimension of healing.
Pastoral Care – Crisis
- William Cutrer, The Church Leader’s Handbook: A Guide to Counseling Families and Individuals in Crisis — An excellent guide to pastoral care in crisis situations that are outside of structured helping contexts. Discusses overall philosophy and ethics, and includes chapters on most crisis situations faced by ministers.
- Gregory L. Hunt, Leading Congregations Through Crisis (TCP Leadership Series) – An excellent guide to the essential principles of congregational crisis management, applicable to a variety of situations churches face. It is not a guide simply to pastoral care, but also to congregational leadership and management.
Other Helpful Resources:
- Daniel G. Bagby, Crisis Ministry: A Handbook (Smyth and Helwys Help! Books) — Presents helpful strategies for over 20 crisis situations faced by ministers.
- David K. Switzer, Pastoral Care Emergencies – Presents a clear, illustrative, practical manual for pastors, covering the entire range of pastoral care emergencies typically faced by clergy, pastoral counselors, and lay caregivers.
Pastoral Care — Listening and Attending Skills — See Leadership Development Through Communication Competence and Conflict: Difficult Conversations and Difficult People
Pastoral Care — Weddings and Funerals (See Separate Guide)
Related Ministry Resources
See Other Resources on Pastoral Care and Counseling:
- Christian Counseling and Pastoral Care, Intro
- Pastoral Care
- Christian Counseling, Pastoral Counseling
- Pre-Marital Christian Counseling
- Ministry Resources for Weddings and Funerals
See Resources on Over 100 Areas of Christian Ministry: