“Pastoral care is a world of unbearable pain. However high we lift our spirits in personal or public worship, it is good to remember that many in our congregations come and go from our worship with broken hearts. In some ways this is what is most wrong with public invitations. We ask all those who are shrinking back from life to come forward. But they are refugees from sociability. They want to hide; they do not want to come forward. They want to hide out, so pastors must go to their hiding places. We must come down from our soaring worship and agree to enter the world of unbearable hurt.”

“Mega churches are a bog of lost concern. Pastoral care has all but died. The main reason for this is that the mega pastors do not live in the circle of their congregations. They live always to one side of the crowd. An invisible line exists between the pulpit and the thousands who attend mega churches. These pastors believe they love their people, but in reality they love them only as the lonely crowd they rarely intersect with on any one-to-one basis. The vast majority of these pastors – and I emphasize the word vast – have never had a meaningful conversation with anyone in their congregation. Eugene Peterson’s pastoral job description is this: ‘Live in the middle of your congregation and love God.’ The sheer numbers in mega churches render this definition impossible.”

“Care for the flock. Whatever theology you arrive at, test it in the laboratory of pastoral care. You will likely begin and end your ministry in a small church. This is neither a threat nor a curse. Every church can matter, and most of us live and die somewhere far beneath the grand temple where the bishops live and write opinions. Therefore, trust no theology that doesn’t work where the crowd is small and the pay is inadequate.”