Now that we have an understanding of what soul care is (see pt 1 here), the next step (at least for me) was to answer the question, "What does this require of those desiring to do it?" This is not an exhaustive list, but here is my list (... so far).
Soul care requires:
- Relationship. We've all heard the old saying, "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care". It's true. In order to properly care for the soul of another, we must have an established relationship. It takes time for trust to be built.
- Intentionality. As the relationship is being established, there must be an accompanying intentionality. This intentionality must be both regularly scheduled as well as spontaneous. This intentionality looks a lot like authentic community. It's about being involved in each other's lives, in each other's business.
- Wisdom. The kind of wisdom that only the Bible provides. The kind of wisdom that has power to transform from the inside out. The kind of wisdom that is pointed at the heart, not just behavior.
- Faith. Your faith needs to be the kind of faith that is growing in depth. If you aren't growing you have nothing to give those you are trying to lead and care for.
- Initiation. You need to be the one initiating contact. This will continue to establish and deepen your relationship.
- Vulnerability. In order to care for others you must be willing to display open and honest vulnerability. Sharing your struggles will open them up to sharing theirs.
- Humility. Another way to show how much we care is to be humble. We don't have all the answers, but we may be able to point them to the One that does.
- Listening. In order to do the job of soul care properly, we must grow in our listening skills. Sometimes people just need us to listen and understand the whole story. Only then can we properly advise them in the midst of their struggle. Most of us just either want to "fix" it, or without the whole story we end up only working on surface issues never getting to the root. The only way to make sure is to listen.
And there are probably more. Feel free to add to this list by leaving a comment.