Andrew Zantingh is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and serves as
Professor of Congregational Theology at Missional Training Center, Phoenix,
and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Kitchener, Ontatrio, Canada. As a lead
pastor, Andrew has helped shift two churches in Canada to a missional Pastoral
Theology, and he now mentors and coaches other pastors to be a missional leaders
Abstract: For close to twenty-five years, I have been learning how to care for the congregations God has called me to serve. In this respect, I am like most other professional pastors who paid significant money to be trained by professional professors to gain the necessary skills and techniques to do specialized care in a congregational setting. In addition to being a pastor, I now also teach graduate level pastoral care courses for pastors. The following paper is my theological reflection on the task of training pastors to do pastoral care in a missional way. There are some significant problems with our current approach to pastoral theology. In this volume, Michael Goheen identifies three crucial assumptions that have negatively shaped pastoral theology’s historical growth as a theological discipline: a theory-practice dichotomy, a professionalized view of the pastoral ministry, and a non-missional understanding of the church. My pastoral care experience bears out how these three assumptions have led to a faulty pastoral theology. In this article, I wish to offer an alternative approach to pastoral care from a missional mode. In doing so, I offer a solution which overcomes the theory-praxis dichotomy, that properly positions the role of the pastors as lead discipler, and one that correctly locates pastoral care in the context of a missional understanding of the church. I will do this by sketching the problem of pastoral care from ministry experience, by constructing theological contours that reframe pastoral care in the missional mode, by offering a concrete example of this kind of pastoral care in action, and finally by sketching a dynamic approach to theological education that can equip pastors for such care.
Key Words: Pastoral care, Pastoral Theology, Missional Theology, Pastoral Ministry