Thomas Chalmers believed in pastoral care. He believed it should be personal, intentional, covenantal, and incarnational. In other words, he believed that it should be strategicly designed to run counter to our natural inclinations in this poor fallen world. He said, "Show me a people-going minister and I will show you a church-going people."
Of course, for that sort of thing to actually work, pastoral care had to be done on a human scale. As Chalmers often asserted, "Gargantuanism and the care of souls cannot coexist."
So, how can the modern evangelical congregation put into practice these insights? That is the very thing we will be exploring Friday and Saturday at the Parish Life Conference here in Franklin. I am excited both for the clarity it will bring to my own thinking (remember: thoughts tend to disentangle themselves as they flow over the tips of pen or tongue) and to my own covenant community's practical agenda for ministry.