Exploring what it means to be a pastoral companion.
© 2017 Michael Forster. All rights reserved. Bespoke Web Pages.
The best way to introduce this book is for Michael to explain why he wrote it.
‘I wrote it because I simply had to – you might say I was driven to do so. Throughout my pastoral practice, I couldn’t help making connections – my experiences in teaching, pastoral ministry and mental health work resonated with one another and with my faith. Then my post-graduate studies in counselling and psychotherapy completed the effect and blew me away! That’s because the counselling theory served as a catalyst, adding depth, meaning and coherence to my experiences in teaching, ministry and clinical practice, and to my life of faith. My brain seemed to be a constant fireworks show and I just knew that sometime I was going to have to write it all up as a book.
‘The fuse that ignited the fireworks was my realizing that the most important thing in pastoral, clinical or – yes – educational practice is the quality of one person’s presence with another. And it was that quality of presence that inspired me about the Jesus I studied in the Bible.
‘It’s as simple and as easy as that.
‘And it’s as complex and as hard as that!
‘I remembered my early attempts at “pastoral care” and how quickly I’d had to learn that it wasn’t about fixing people! One day at theological college my pastoral tutor had said to me, “You need to learn just how valuable your contributions are.” Then, before I could swell too much with pride, he’d continued, “. . . and how much better when there are fewer of them.”
‘Those words never left me. Most of us don’t value ourselves highly enough to trust that our “just being there” is enough, and so undermine our presence with words and actions that don’t help. “Just being there” sounds simple but in reality is one of the hardest things we can be asked to do – especially when someone is really suffering – and I wanted to encourage and help people to do it.
‘That’s why I wrote this book.’
Personally signed copies of this book are available from the author. Please email Michael to enquire about this.
Royalties from this book are donated to the Touchstone Project, in Bradford.
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