In the 3 previous parts to this series we've answered the question of what soul care is (pt. 1 - here), what it requires (pt. 2 - here), and what it looks like practically (pt. 3 - here); now it's time to look at what to do when you realize you are in over your head. This will happen to most, if not all of us. Someone will eventually bring a problem to you that you didn't see coming and / or couldn't possibly be prepared for. What do you do? Here are my 2 suggestions:
- Pray. When you are feeling overwhelmed, pray. Pray remembering God has put you in this position for a reason. He has created you to rely on Him for both wisdom, strength, boldness and the ability to speak the truth in love and with grace. Pray remembering this is ultimately His work and He chose to use you to do it. Pray remembering He will never leave you or forsake you. Pray before you meet, while you are meeting, and after you have met. Pray for the other person's soul. Pray that God will use you in any way He needs to help the other person. Pray for God's will to be done and for Him to get the glory.
- Get help. You are not in this alone. There are others around who can help you help those you are caring for. Talk to other leaders. Talk to the elders. Talk to your pastor(s). Continue to read and sharpen your skills. Get help as often as you need it. Get help from sources you trust. This is the way gospel community is supposed to function anyway. It all goes back to the quote I throw out often, "All of us are smarter than one of us."
The "lone ranger" mentality only works in the movies. Remember you aren't alone and don't have to face this alone. You have the God of the universe, Creator of heaven and earth on your side, and He is with you. You have the community of saints with you, wanting to see the kingdom expanded. Use the tools you have.
As far as being in over your head, what have I missed? Feel free to leave a comment.