Picking up Will Willimon’s position that modernity has overly individualised and psychologised contemporary pastoral Zac Hicks points out a primary purpose of corporate worship, the neglect of which weakens both worship and pastoral care.
When we hear “pastoral care,” we typically think of one-on-one, gut-wrenching meetings between a pastor and a hurting congregant. We think of counselling session, hospital calls, in-home visits, praying for individual’s needs and presiding over funerals. These are all vital, indispensable care practices of any pastor. But the history of the church points us to a centre, a starting place for pastoral care. The pastors of early Christianity saw the core of their ministry to sick, hurting, wounded sheep happening in the context of leading worship. Worship is the ground zero of pastoral care. It is where all pastoral care rightly begins, and without it , all other forms of pastoral care lose their meaning and power. Before I show you why this is so, we need to address another question: How did we ever get to the place where we don’t think of worship when we talk about pastoral care?
The Worship Pastor, Zac Hicks, Zondervan, 2016, pg 123.