EMPATHY: KEY TO EFFECTIVE PASTORAL MINISTRY

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RESEARCH INFORMATION

✎: EMPATHY: KEY TO EFFECTIVE PASTORAL MINISTRY

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Keywords: EMPATHY: KEY TO EFFECTIVE PASTORAL MINISTRY

 

RESEARCH BODY

ABSTRACT

This research work was based on empathy as a key to effective pastoral ministry using Foursquare Gospel Church, Aga Zonal Headquarters. The research work is an attempt to show the importance of empathy in pastoral ministry. The study examined the differences between empathy and sympathy, the importance of empathy in pastoral ministry and factors hindering effective empathy in the church. Caring is a responsibility God placed upon all Christian ministry irrespective of age, sex, religious status, tribe, language, colour, marital status, educational background and financial status empathy no doubt , is the pillar and life wire of caring and counseling ministry. The approach employed in carrying out this research is historical method. The research work adopted library and field based approach; this includes the study of related materials which includes books, journals, thesis and the use of internet and the conduction of oral interviews. Data was collected, analyzed and findings were observed which included the fact that some pastor do not practice empathy as it supposed to due to problem problems that others have encountered through empathy and lack of understanding. However, the researcher recommends that the pastor should attend pastoral training and the church should also create room for welfare packages.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Significance of the Study
  • Delimitation of the Study
  • Limitation of the Study
  • Research Methodology
  • Definition of Terms

 

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1   Definition and Explanation of the term Empathy

2.2   The Importance of Empathy in Pastoral Ministry

2.3   Qualifications of a Pastor

2.4   The Focus of Empathy

2.5   How to Develop Empathy

2.6.        Challenges of Empathy in Pastoral Ministry

2.7   Distinguished Between Empathy and Sympathy

2.8   Character Traits of an Empathic Counselor

CHAPTER THREE: BIBLICAL CONCEPT OF EMPATHY IN PASTORAL MINISTRY

3.1       In the Old Testament

3.2       In the New Testament

 

CHAPTER FOUR: EMPATHY:  EFFECTIVE KEY TO PASTORAL MINISTRY: A CASE STUDY OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH AGA ZONAL HEADQUATER, SOLEBO ESTATE, IKORODU, LAGOS .

4.1   Brief History of Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria

4.2       Empathy and the Pastoral Ministry of Foursquare Gospel Church Aga Solebo Estate

4.3   Factors Hindering Effective Empathy in Foursquare Gospel Church

4.4   Data Analysis and Presentations

4.5       Reaction of Pastor/Church workers and Members towards the Word Empathy and Sympathy.

 

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1       Summary

5.2       Conclusions

5.3       Recommendations

 

APPENDIX

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background to the Study

Empathy and listening are the master key to one’s door of life which the pastor should use, in order to gain entrance into the heart of people and help them from within. The most important thing to be understood is that there can never be better emphatic practice without a listening aspect, also listening will never be effective without empathy. These two are interwoven in pastoral ministry. Empathy is the understanding of emotional feelings of others. It is the mirroring of feelings of someone’s suffering.

Gill Hasson says “mirror neurons are distinctive brain cells that fire not just when you perform an action, but also when you use or hear others carry out an action too”
it is the identifying as well as me experiencing of the emotional feeling of other people[1].Michael Jacobs defines empathy as the ability to identify with how others might be feeling. Understanding intuitively how the others might be feeling.[2]Empathy or identification means the ability to put one’s self in someone’s shoes, to get into the skin, to experience what they might be experiencing.

It is believed that empathy and sensitivity come hand in hand; you cannot be empathetic and be insensitive. It is also note that people who show empathy towards others as they tell their stories are known to be better pastors, parents, community leaders. Deeper level of rapport with church members and trust are granted and maintained through the use of empathetic rhythms in all walks of life human kind cannot afford to live without it because of emotional turbulence caused by different things in life there will be no joy, peace, harmony as well as emotional healing if there is no empathy in human lives.

Empathy is like a pain killer to the sufferer when it’s properly applied. The good news to all pastors and church leaders is that empathy can be learned. The key skill that you need as a pastor is to be one of these emotional intelligent people. Having empathy simply means that you are willing to try and understand someone’s situation, their point of view, their true feelings; you are interested in one’s situation and as a pastor readiness to respond to their needs and feelings without dismissing them and judging them. .When we put ourselves in the other person’s place we’re less likely to want to put him in his place.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

It has been observed by the researcher that many pastors are not empathetic in the discharge of their pastoral ministry which has hindered the quantitative and qualitative growth of the church. The research therefore at examining the following questions:

  1. Why is empathy an effective key in pastoral ministry?
  2. How does the church tackle the problem of lack of empathy in pastoral ministry?
  • Why do many pastors lack empathy?
  1. What is the biblical stand on empathy?

1.3       Purpose of Study

The research carried out in the past has clearly shown that some pastors lack empathic skill such as patience, good listening habit, agape love and understanding heart. This project intends to give solution to this recent problem and curb the problem among pastors. The researcher shall recommend suggestions which may be considered useful for pastors, Christian’s church workers and the society at large to improve greatly on empathy.

1.4       Significance of the Study

This study is significant in the following ways:

  1. Pastor and church leaders would be able to understand the meaning of empathy and how to use the tool of empathy in ministry
  2. Church workers and leaders would be able to handle empathy effectively
  • Leaders at every part of life be able to learn and understand empathy as a tool for effective leadership
  1. Future researcher would have a resources material to refer to in future.

1.5       Delimitation of the Study

This case study will be restricted to Foursquare Gospel Church Aga Zone Solebo Estate; however the historical and biblical examples of empathy in pastoral ministry shall be considered, although the research will not be able to cover all the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria but researchers believe that the information that wil2l be provided will be useful for all pastors and Christians globally.

1.6       Research Procedure

With the intention of acquiring more knowledge and understanding on the
Contextualization and Missions in the 21st Century Nigeria.

  1. Materials of relevant authors and authorities on this subject matter were reviewed, especially those of Christian literatures, magazines and lecture materials, some literature books such as textbooks, commentaries, concordances. Dictionaries, Handouts were gotten from LIFE Theological Seminary Library and Personal Library.
  2. The researcher also consulted the internet for information on this subject matter. And of course various document from theFoursquare Gospel Church, Aga Zonal Headquarters, Solebo Estate.
  3. Lastly, Questionnaire were also administered to pastors, workers and members of’ Foursquare Gospel Church, Aga Zonal Headquarters, Solebo Estateto gather relevant information for a reliable compilation.

1.7       Limitation of Study

Despite the end product of this research work, this project faced some constraints such as time, fund, gathering of’ materials and co-operation from question respondents at the collection of data. However, the researcher did this possible best to present a valid report.

1.8       Definition of Terms

For the purpose of this research work, the following terms are defined as follows:

Empathy:

This is the feeling that you understand and share other persons experience and emotions, or the ability to share someone else’s feeling.

Effective:

Actual, real, able to work serve or taken part

Pastoral:

A clergy, relating to Christian ministry, priest

Ministry:

Work of religious minister, the profession and service of religious minister, clergy, and term applied to the body of ministers in the church.

Keywords: EMPATHY: KEY TO EFFECTIVE PASTORAL MINISTRY

 


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Keywords: EMPATHY: KEY TO EFFECTIVE PASTORAL MINISTRY

 


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