Pastoral care happens when ministers and trained peers offer help and caring to others in their church or wider community. Pastoral care can be applied to listening, supporting, encouraging, and visiting in a variety of settings. At Crossfire Ministries we are joyfully aware of the privilege we have been given to care for persons who are struggling with difficulties. Often spiritual breakthroughs happen when there is someone present during a time of pain or while praying with someone in a crisis. We attend to personal hurts and needs and assist people on their journey toward healing and wholeness. Our services include: Pastoral counseling for individuals, couples, and families, serving adults, adolescents, and children. At Crossfire Ministries we believe that God wants to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. With Jesus as our model of compassion we extend His healing hand. Crossfire Ministries provides pastoral counseling services that allow your personal faith to be restored and grow. If you are looking for a safe and secure place to heal and renew your spirit, we are here to help.
Why the Need for Pastoral Care?
We are fallen people in a fallen world. This explains why good and evil co-exist around us and inside of us. God created the world and that creation was good. When Adam and Eve rebelled, everything around us and within us became fallen. God’s original creation remained, but it was marred. Like a shattered mirror hanging in place, we can see aspects of what was, but not the full picture. No longer does everything fit perfectly together without friction. Instead, creation is full of turmoil and competition. The two main illustrations of the change of creation after the fall are in child birth and work.
- The pain and labor of child birth mimics the struggle for life in a fallen world.
- The toil and sweat of work reveal the fallen nature of the world. No longer is food each to receive. Now we have to labor for it and even as we do, there are thorns and thistles which injure us in our pursuit.
The Identity of Humanity
As fallen people in a fallen world:
- We are created in the Image of God and therefore ultimately valuable.
- We are fallen creatures marred by sin capable of terrible atrocities.
The Nature of Nature
Nature too still contains the beauty, power, and majesty of its original creation. Yet it is also full of great danger, evil and ugliness because of the fall.
The Fall and Sickness
Sickness is in the world because of sin. Yet an individual sickness cannot always be directly traced to an individual sin. As soon as Cain killed Abel, the world was introduced to the tragedies of living in a fallen world. Abel did nothing to do deserve his death, yet because of the poor decision making of his brother, he died.
As fallen people in a fallen world:
- Our genes are fallen, pre-disposing us to many illnesses, addictions, and diseases.
- We can make bad decisions which lead to sickness.
- Others can make bad decisions which lead to our illness (i.e. second hand smoke, HIV, etc.).
- Many illnesses are a combination of our own decision making, culture, genetics and the world in which we live (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, etc.).
And He (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:16-19 (ESV)
Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2. In this prophecy, the Messiah announced that He came to change the fivefold damage that sin brings. Sin does great damage, so there must be a great work of redemption.
- To preach the gospel to the poor: Sin impoverishes, and the Messiah brings good news to the poor.
- To heal the brokenhearted: Sin breaks hearts, and the Messiah has good news for brokenhearted.
- To proclaim liberty to the captives: Sin makes people captive and enslaves them, and the Messiah comes to set them free.
- Recovery of sight to the blind: Sin blinds us, and the Messiah comes to heal our spiritual and moral blindness.
- To set at liberty those who are oppressed: Sin oppresses its victims, and the Messiah comes to bring liberty to the oppressed.
Thankfully, Jesus didn’t come to only preach deliverance or even to only bring deliverance. Jesus came to be deliverance for us. The issue of sickness is always a difficult one to deal with. The key is remembering that God's ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). When we are suffering with a sickness, disease, or injury, we usually focus solely on our own suffering. In the midst of a trial of sickness, it is very difficult to focus on what good God might bring about as a result. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God can bring about good from any situation. Many people look back on times of sickness as times when they grew closer to God, learned to trust Him more, and/or learned how to truly value life. This is the perspective God has because He is sovereign and knows the end result. When people are suffering, it is our responsibility to minister to them, care for them, pray for them, and comfort them.