Within nearly every church, several types of ministries work together to help support that church’s overall goals and vision. Larger churches usually have different types of ministries and goals than smaller churches, and vice versa, but there’s at least one type of ministry that’s pervasive across all churches. That is the ministry of pastoral care.
Also known as congregant care, pastoral care is, in its simplest form, providing emotional, social, and spiritual support to members of the congregation.
That’s not intended to sound like an oversimplification…there’s so much more to it, and each of you plays a role – small or large, direct or indirect – that equates to a successful pastoral care ministry in your church.
Suppose your church is anything like the churches ACST has worked with over the years. In that case, your pastoral care ministry is overseen by your pastor(s) and is supported by pastoral care teams, usually made up of deacons, elders, or other highly engaged church members. These teams work together as a single, cohesive unit and have a vested interest in helping shepherd the congregation effectively.
However, let’s pause for a moment and think about that. That’s a lot of different people that help support that ministry, right? And the bigger the church, the more people you need on your pastoral care teams. The unfortunate truth is that so many churches use multiple, third-party solutions to reach their pastoral care ministry goals. Over time, their focus shifts to building integrations and solutions instead of building ministry.
If we all agree that pastoral care teams are more effective when they work as a single, cohesive unit, wouldn’t you agree that it only makes sense that the tools you use for pastor care would be more effective if they too were built and used as a single, cohesive unit?
This is exactly how we built the pastoral care tools in Realm.
Realm’s tools for pastoral care are built directly inside of Realm. This means no integrating additional solutions…no managing multiple databases….and no added costs. It also means one tool for your entire pastoral care ministry team. Let’s take a look at how churches are using Realm for pastoral care today.
A critical aspect of pastoral care is knowing where every member of your congregation is in their walk with your church. Easy enough, right? How do you know where they are in their walk? How do you not only document those conversations but also view them later to refresh your memory?
Realm’s answer to those questions is the Realm Shepherd mobile app. The Realm Shepherd app is built specifically for pastors and pastoral care teams and allows them to find each person in their congregation instantly. Opening their profile in Realm Shepherd provides each congregant’s journey in your church. From the groups they participate in, any recorded sacraments or ordinances, and any discipleship tracks they’re a part of, the Realm Shepherd app helps guide pastors to understand each individual in their congregation better.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Realm Shepherd.
Pastors or pastoral teams can connect with any individual and start conversations directly from Realm Shepherd, and as that relationship is built, record those interactions in pastoral notes. Realm Shepherd’s pastoral notes are completely confidential, so they’re only accessed by the pastors or others that can see them.
Realm’s built-in groups allow for cross-team communication so all your pastoral care teams can be on the same page and work together as a single, cohesive team. They also use Realm Pathways to place individuals on tracks to better discipleship. As they complete a discipleship track, your pastors or pastoral care teams will see an individual’s development as they become more connected with your church.
With Realm Connect and the Realm Shepherd mobile app, your pastoral care ministry can better connect with each other, engage with your congregation, and put their efforts into doing ministry again.