Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts on community care

I ride my bike to work everyday—ok, you know that; I've said it a thousand times. What you probably don't know is that there is another person who lives out our way who does it, too. He rides about 10 months of the year, taking the coldest days off.

Anyway, he and I usually ride to work at different times, so we rarely see each other. But, I saw him last Wednesday and we rode together for a mile or two. We have similar interests: he has a cold frame and grows greens through December; I have a greenhouse and try to grow year round. They have chickens; we don't, but we buy local eggs. We both prefer to grow as much as possible of what we eat. We both prefer to bike (duh!).

Anyway, I found out he works for one of the local churches here as a Community Care Pastor. Being too far from the institutional church, I naively asked if that meant he was in charge of the deacons. He said no, that he did the visitation at the hospital, took care of counseling, and helped people who were unemployed, and other things of that nature. He added that there was another pastor helping him.

Now, don't read this as a criticism of him! I'm sure he is doing a great job. It was obvious he loves what he does and takes it seriously. But, where is the church in all this? Doesn't the Bible call all Christians to do this stuff? I can understand having someone who directs it, oversees it, and trains people in it if the church is large. But, to do it all? Isn't that in some way cheating the body of Christ? And, isn't it asking for burnout of the one doing it?

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