Friday, 6 June 2014

Bibliography for Dissertation


Cited works

Avery, Brice 1996 The Pastoral Encounter London: Marshall Pickering

Campbell, Alastair V 1993 Rediscovering Pastoral Care London: Darton, Longman & Todd

Dominion, J 1976 Authority Burns & Oates: London

Green, J B & McKnight, S (eds.) 1992 Dictionary of Jesus & The Gospels Dower’s Green, IVP

Harris, John C 1977  Stress, Power and Ministry Washington: The Alban Institute

Howard, Roland 1996 The Rise And Fall Of The Nine O’Clock Service London: Mowbrays

Jamieson, Penny 1997 Living at the Edge: sacrament and solidarity in leadership London, Mowbray’s

Kittel G & Friedrich G (Eds.), 1967, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Volume 2 Grand Rapids, Eerdmans

Komonchak, J A, Collins, M & Lane, D A (eds.) 1987 The New Dictionary of Theology Dublin: Gill & MacMillan

Lake, Frank 1994 Clinical Theology (Abridged by Martin H Yeomans) London: Darton, Longman & Todd

Middleton, J R & Walsh, B J 1995 Truth is stranger than it used to be London, SPCK

Pattison, Stephen 1993 A Critique of Pastoral Care London: SCM

Powell, Cyril  H 1963 The Biblical Concept of Power London, The Epworth Press

Reid, Bruce 1974 The Dynamics Of Religion London: Darton, Longman & Todd

Richardson, Alan 1962 A theological word book of the Bible London, SCM Press

Riddell, Michael 1998 Threshold Of The Future London: SPCK

Tomlinson, Dave 1995 The Post-Evangelical  London: Triangle

 1995 New Revised Standard Version (Anglicised edition) Oxford: The University Press 

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

The Last Chapter - some conclusions on Power and Pastoral Ministry

The nature of power in Pastoral Ministry

Chapter 5
Observations and Conclusions

The purpose of this study has been to make it clear that to attempt to deny or ignore the power inherent in Pastoral encounters is deluded and opens the way to serious, though often unconscious, abuses of the power that exists whether it is acknowledged or not.  This acknowledgement of power and the acceptance of the authority conveyed upon those engaged in pastoral ministry is the beginning of any attempt to move on and tackle the related issues that arise in pastoral work.  The presence of power will, whether known or not, influence any pastoral encounter for ill or for better.

As discussed in the previous chapter, the church structure within which power is exercised and from which authority for ministry is gained is often blamed for individual failures to use power appropriately.   While it is true that the ‘senior executives’ within the church - whether they be elders, Bishops, Archdeacons, Superintendents or otherwise, - often have a strong influence over the Christian community it is recognised more and more that the authority these individuals hold is dependent upon acceptance from those who are part of the main body of the church.  In this way issues such as hierarchy, power sharing and accountability are being placed on the everyday agenda of the ministry of the church. 

The Church of England has always located the ultimate authority of a given situation in one individual - the Bishop, priest or other figure.  This has given those in pastoral ministry in that denomination a sense of accountability and responsibility due to the power invested in them.  This has not always been successful but has offered a working model for the Anglican Church for a number of generations.

The truth is, that without an obvious location of power and responsibility then power often comes out in other ways.  Churches that claim no one leader will often still have an individual who, through the dynamics of the group, will be an unconscious bearer of power, with the ability to influence the congregation accordingly.  This offers more dangers than the model of a defined role taken by one person who, though working as part of and on behalf of the fellowship is the one on whom responsibility will lie.  At least in such a model there is some form of accountability.
It is important to acknowledge the ‘power factor’ in a pastoral relationship.  This process involves a certain amount of vulnerability on the part of the pastor and the client, but it is one which, having made the issues known, leaves less room for unacknowledged power to sabotage the process.


Three Steps in Moving Forward

The first step in moving towards more open pastoral relationships is to examine the dynamics that inform the process of pastoral encounter.  This is the concern of Dr Brice Avery (1996)as stated in Chapter Three.  Therefore the position of client and pastor must be made clear and the, often unconscious, motivations of each must be examined.  This is not to advocate that the pastor offers all of her or his misgivings, vulnerabilities, strengths and weaknesses to the client, thereby disempowering him or herself, but that, from the very beginning, there will be an awareness of the underlying issues of power and authority that flow quite naturally within a pastoral relationship.  Brice Avery (1996: 46) tells us,
“The activity in the best of pastoral encounters is one in which the pastoral pair work together to reveal, for reflection, activities on the emotional level that the client had, until then, been unaware of.” (Italics mine)

Recognition of the nature of the power relationship that will exist in such an encounter is the beginning of working together in order to bring about such revelations.  Pastors, especially Christian pastors,  must embark on the long journey of self-awareness, informed by reflection, scriptural understanding and personal honesty that will allow them to be truly aware of their motivations and desires, and not allow them to subvert the true purpose of the pastoral encounter, to bring about the increased well-being of those who seek the pastor’s aid. Campbell (1993: 99) states
“Because caring is an interaction in areas of life where helper and helped are both vulnerable, the person who claims to care must learn to recognize the intrusive quality of his or her own needs.”
Without this self-understanding and self-knowledge the pastor is liable to be living out unresolved issues, playing out fantasies and serving her or his own ends in the pastoral encounter and thereby making it impossible to engage in a deeper relationship, a relationship of trust - in this case the client will find it difficult to open up to a pastor, as Harris (1977: 48) tells us “…a trusting climate is necessary if an individual is to see purpose in relaxing his defenses, in opening up his life and concern to others.”

The second step in making pastoral relationships more open and more constructive is concerned with the consideration of the roots of pastoral ministry which, certainly in the church, are found in the early history of the church and in the life and ministry of Jesus.  With this basis we find a critique of any aspects of power which involve control or manipulation, and the ideal of the pastoral community as one of mutuality and sharing.  In looking at certain biblical material in this study we have not sought to claim that only Christian pastoral contact is of any value, but that all pastoral ministry can be informed by the example firstly of Jesus and secondly of the primitive church that struggled to care for those it met, even while the church was subject to persecution, in the early years of its life.

The issues of ‘power’ and ‘authority’ which stand out so strongly in the life of Jesus and in the writings of the New Testament are tied up with the need for the pastor to be grounded in the life of the spirit and with the community of faith.  This is the natural outcome of the struggles of the earliest generations of the church between ‘charismatic’ and ‘institutional’ power being located in leaders. 

At best, power that is acknowledged as institutional offers, a safeguard against the extreme abuses of pastoral power.  This power is rooted in the understanding that Jesus found his home among those he trusted and gave them the authority to continue his work.  These were the founders of the heritage to which the church clings today.   Power and authority are indeed dangerous, unstable concepts, yet Jesus was unafraid to speak with authority and to follow the leading of compassion and commitment to others event when it brought criticism.  This, indeed, is the calling of pastors in every age, to be committed to the appropriate use of power in encountering those who seek help. 

Ultimately the call of the pastor is to encourage healing and wholeness, recognising her or his own need for that healing and wholeness.  Jesus offers us a model of humanity which allows us to feel, to weep and laugh alongside those who are travelling with us through our journey in life. Harris (1997: 167) writes that pastors must “…learn to focus on the struggles of their people to be more fully human.  The aim and purpose of Christ’s ministry was that human beings might live more abundantly.” This is the aim of pastoral relationships within the church.

As a third step to fuller pastoral contact we must bear in mind the ongoing dynamic of the pastoral encounter within the community.  This study is concerned to make clear the idea of community as the background and basis of any genuine pastoral encounter, whether it be through the network of persons in church fellowships or the fact that the minister represents and works on behalf of the community. Pastoral authority and power, to be used appropriately, must be made to exist in relationship to the community of faith or pastoral organisation from which the pastor works and such power must be acknowledged as part of the ministry of the church, not just a personal control over others.. 

Pastoral ministry, certainly in the long term, can only be effective, and perhaps safe, agains the background of community.  Those who are pastoral ministers gain their identity, their authority, their grounding in being a part of and coming from a community or organisation from which they derive their power and authority.  For the Christian pastor that community comprises of the church, both on the level of individual fellowships and on the structural level of the church at large.  A Christian minister is recognised as having power due to the social, historical and tradition-based processes that have made the church what it is now.  Even for those who have no active involvement in the church the minister will be an approachable figure because of  their office as well as, or even in spite of, who they are as a human being.  Though exploring one’s full humanity must be a part of the ministerial task.

Because of this ‘rootedness’ in the community, the minister must always be accountable to the group she or he represents and speaks for.  To facilitate this the pastor must be transparent, honest and open to the community for and to which she or he ministers. This involves, from the start, acknowledging the presence of power in pastoral encounters and being willing and able to work on the issues involved together.  If the pastor genuinely finds their grounding in the life of the community then there is the potential for a relationship of trust which is essential for power to be truly shared.  This concern can be tackled initially by the desire to bring about mutuality in pastoral relationships. Harris (1977: 71) borrowing a phrase from Rollo May, talks in terms of ministers not having ‘power over the members (of the Community) but power with them.”


Pastoral Power grounded in community

Apart from the community the pastor has no power to offer authentic pastoral assistance, for it is by the commission of the community that he or she derives authentic pastoral power.  There will be times when healing and wholeness can only be brought within a community, and the leader must hand over to the pastoral community to allow the worshipping fellowship to do that work.  Frank Lake (1994: 14) makes the observation that
“It is in such a Christian community that the resources of Christ are meant to work.  It would be a departure from the New Testament pattern to set up separate clergymen working like therapists and general practitioners in isolation from the Body of Christ.  The resources of God are mediated in the whole life of the Christian fellowship…”
It must be admitted that for the leader of a community it can be a risk, it can be costly letting go.  At a certain level, sharing power allows more opportunity for mistakes to be made and more potential for failure, simply due to the fact that more people are a part of the pastoral process.  On the other hand holding power has the danger of one person’s failure being ultimately equally or even more damaging than a community sharing responsibility.

If, as discussed in the previous chapter, the role of the pastor is partly about being one who can foster and appropriate dependence on themselves within the community, it is only done in order to move individuals beyond ‘extra-dependence’ to ‘intra-dependence’.  In other words, as Dominian (1976: 98) says, “Although we are born in a state of dependence, the meaning of life is not to be found in dependence but relationship.”  This stresses the need for a mutuality in pastoral communities.  As Harris (1977: 60) explains, “Power is a social process.  In its best forms, power is expressed as people speak and act together in a climate of mutual respect.” In pastoral care the aim must be to empower people in such a way that it facilitates both their own healing and the healing of others.


Beyond the Church

Though this discussion has been concerned with a critique of power within the church, there must never be any doubt that the care that the church offers must be for society at large, not for a select group seeking to be comfortable and well-adjusted at the expense of others.  Just as many caring agencies seek to assist any in need, the care of the church must be open to all who come.  Pattison (1993: 15) states that
“One feature of the experience of pastoral care today which is very important is the fact that while pastoral care may be carried on primarily in, or on behalf of particular Christian communities, it cannot be directed solely towards Christians.”
This is the ‘Mission’ of the church in its broadest sense - working in common with other pastoral agencies to bring healing and wholeness to an often broken and confused humanity.  This mission, for the Christian, reflects faith in a God whose ultimate aim is the healing of creation, a work that is performed by those that seek to do the work of healing as part of the Christian vocation.

Pastoral care is needed by the world, by society as a whole, and the church is called to model healing relationships, appropriate dependence and authority without abuse.  Dominian (1976: 78) writes
“…ultimately, what society is seeking is that the model of authority should be one of integrity, wholeness, holiness, wisdom and love and not based on the power of money, coercion, violence and subjugation of others.”
In the present era, when so many values and ideas are being questioned, people are turning to people they can trust rather than to ‘meta-narratives’ or cosmic explanations.  If the future paradigm, the future ‘philosophy’, of western culture is to be relational, then the Christian community of faith must live in relationship to one another and the world in such a way as to demonstrate the love and freedom that their faith aspires to.


Word and Deed

In any pastoral encounter words and deeds, teaching and practice, must both work together.  It is impossible to pay lip-service to empowerment and then retain old methods of control and still retain any credibility with those who seek the aid of the pastor.  The authenticity of such a ministry would soon come under question.  The pastor cannot claim to be mutual and concerned with sharing if their model of ministry is still dictatorial and manipulative. Therefore, those who hold positions of pastoral responsibility must take risks in allowing the community of which she or he is a part to be responsible for their own healing.  If we are, however, to follow the example of Jesus as pastor then we must acknowledge the client’s part in their own move towards wholeness.  Pastors must live by values that allow them to empower those they serve as well as talking about such values. Hannah Arends, quoted by Harris (1977) writes
“Power is actualized only when word and deed have not parted company, where words are not empty and deeds are not brutal, where words are not used to violate and destroy but to establish relations and create new realities.”

If pastoral care is about creating a new reality in the lives of those who are seeking wholeness and healing then power and authority must be part of a system that allows for its appropriate manifestation. Those who are particularly responsible for the administration of pastoral care, and there will always be individuals whose calling is to particularly minister pastorally on behalf of the community, must be willing and open to admit their limitations, to allow the community to be a resource and encourage partnership in the pastoral process.  There is no room for the kind of relationship where a pastor tells a client exactly how to lead their life, though there may be times when an authoritative pronouncement is appropriate.  Instead we have sought to express mutuality, transparency and accountability in pastoral relationships.  When the pastor is seen as a person of integrity, speaking from and as a part of a pastoral community she or he embodies and authority that is representative and persuasive rather than manipulative and coercive, in short, Harris (1977: 79) talks about it in terms of “…the difference between authority and control, the capacity to have one’s advice and insight taken seriously, verses the power to decide what happens.”



The pastor is a person of authority, and that authority is part of the heritage of the Christian community.  The authority to offer forgiveness, love, healing, wholeness.  This is a process where that authority is bestowed by the institution of the church, but is also made real and effective by the spiritual and emotional power that comes from integrity.  Integrity has been a much used word in this study, with a belief that the reader will make their own assumptions as to the meaning of the word ,but a definition given by Alastair Campbell (1993: 12) adds some meaning in relation to our subject, Campbell  writes
“When we speak of someone possessing ‘integrity’ we are trying to describe a quality of character for which the word ‘honesty’ may be too weak a synonym.  To possess integrity is to be incapable of compromising that which we believe to be true.”
The ultimate conclusion of this study is that fostering responsibility and integrity is the only solution to the difficulties of issues around pastoral power and authority.  Those who are called to exercise a pastoral ministry must be grounded in community, aware of self, and seeking to do what is right for others and for themselves.  All these must be believed to be true in order for the pastor to be truly a person of integrity. When pastoral power, and the authority of the church, is to be exercised then it must be done by those committed to assist their fellow travellers to live life to its fullest extent. 

The conclusion of this study is one made on a personal level, it must be those who are pastors who have the responsibility to care for themselves and be honest with themselves in order that they may care for others.  It is difficult to impose any structural changes that could foster this beyond what seems obvious, that pastors need supervision, support and accountability structures both within and without the local fellowship in order to facilitate this.  The church is beginning to take seriously commercial and managerial models of support, but these cannot be simply transferred into ecclesiastical structures, they will need translation, interpretation and adaption.  The church at large is recognising the need for change, and as we end this study our hope is that this recognition will grow and develop.

There will be tensions on this journey, as Harris (1977: 171) writes
“…the practicing minister needs constantly to balance opposing tendencies within himself, and between himself and the congregation…He is continually caught, for example in at least three fundamental tensions: the tension between comforting and confronting, between controlling and sharing control with others, between encouraging healthy dependence and stimulating growth toward interdependence.”
This tension is where this study ends, we recognise that the issues brought up by this work are not easy ones, nor are they easily defined.  For the church to continue to function in service to the world and faithful to the gospel, however, the issues must be faced by all of those who offer pastoral care on its behalf.  Pastoral power is an unavoidable part of the pastoral encounter, and must be acknowledged, accepted and worked with, rather than ignored, repressed and allowed to cause damage to those who come seeking guidance and help from ministers.

Power and Pastoral Ministry - Chapter Four (the Penultimate Chapter)

The nature of power in Pastoral Ministry

Chapter 4
The use of power, and its abuses

In the previous chapter we saw how power has been an integral part of the ministry of the Church since it’s inception, by the example of the power and authority within the ministry of Jesus and by the authority conferred onto the Apostles and subsequent leaders of the Church.

Power, and the authority which often makes that power possible, undergirds the relationship between client and minister in any pastoral encounter.  The client will have certain expectations, whether right or wrong, and will usually come to the pastor, to a greater or lesser degree, in a position of weakness comparative to the strength of the pastor.  They will assume the pastor’s ‘expertise’, ‘concern’, ‘compassion’ and ‘wisdom’ exists for the benefit of those who seek his or her aid or advice. Brice Avery (1996: 34) writes that,
“The essence of a nourishing pastoral encounter is that it teaches people that they are valued. For those seeking pastoral help this takes place in the very special relationship with the helper.”


Problems & Confusions

The assumption on the part of the client that this depth of compassionate relationship is also the wish of the pastor is one that can influence the pastor for the worst.  It can place a pastor in a mindset of superiority, and leave open the possibility of manipulation or abuse.  When the pastor realises the dependence shown by the client toward them this opens up the possibility of a dangerously unequal and ultimately abusive relationship.  If this happens it is usually the case that this occurs on an unconscious level as the pastor often seeks to have their own needs met in the relationship with a client.  This is probably quite common and not always harmful as client and pastor learn to meet each other’s needs, but it brings about the possibility of serious difficulties and ultimately fails to resolve the issues that brought the client to the pastor in the first place.  As Avery  (1996: 35) tells us
“Re-enacting our own unresolved inner dramas in the context of a victim of something that we can identify with is a sort of Taking Disguised as Giving.  It can be an unconscious motivation behind the well-meaning help which characterizes poorly trained counsellors.  It is for this reason that all credible pastoral training revolves around the pastors’ exploration of their own inner world.”

Avery (1996: 40) goes on to say that it is crucial that “we tell the difference between our own hurts and those of others.” A good pastor, then, will be concerned with their own motivations, any tendencies they have towards controlling other, and any weaknesses in their own character or method that might hinder positive development in pastoral work. Avery (1996: 41) explains thus:
“…the pastoral encounter requires a partial and mutual emotional immersion of the pastor and the client: how else is the pastor to know what it is to be like the client?  But, and this is crucial…the pastor has to know his or her own responses to as wide a range of emotional contacts as possible to be able to tell the difference between their own feelings-world and that of the client.”

A major danger of pastoral power, then, is that the minister can use their position to play out their own fantasies, to attempt to externalise their own hurts and make others the victims of the pastor’s unresolved difficulties.  It is not always so blatant, often both pastor and client are completely unaware of the issues that form the background to their relationship, they may not realise that what is really happening is the projection of the pastor’s hurts, prejudices or agenda on to the client.  This is because, as Avery (1996: 41) explains, in a pastoral relationship where intimacy has begun, 
“…the border between what is the pastor and what is the client is blurred and dynamic.  It is never completely clear and is always shifting.”


The ‘Nine O’Clock Service’

This leads on to issues of self-knowledge, supervision and accountability.  It is important to be aware of these issues  because they so often negatively influence the pastoral encounter.  The dangers of self-seeking pastoral power can be seen in the situation that arose around the Nine O’Clock Service (NOS) in Sheffield.  The situation itself is well documented, especially by Howard (1996)  and the events surrounding the breakdown of the structures of the group drew the interest, as well as the scorn, of the national media. 

Essentially the difficulties of NOS and its eventual demise arose from the power which the leader and founder, Chris Brain, held over those who worked with him.  Brain had an obvious ‘charismatic’ power, many beleived in Brain’s personal authority and this allowed him power over their lives, power which turned into manipulation and control.  This charismatic power was given the backing of institutional authority when Brain was ordained in the Church of England, first deacon, then priest.   Without the knowledge of those in the hierarchy of the Church of England, Brain’s methods of control and his serious abuses of pastoral power had been legitimised by the giving of institutional authority and by conferring an office and title upon him. 

In the introduction to his detailed study of the situation Roland Howard writes that the story of NOS was not the story, as the Church of England thought, of a radical new ‘youth movement’ that empowered members of ‘Youth culture’ but that, as Howard (1996: 6) explains
“The real story is of betrayal and abuse…Moreover, it is of a priest manipulating, controlling and dominating the minds of several hundred members who thought he was ministering to them.  The real story is about an insatiable desire for power, which was fulfilled by money and sexual involvement.  This power was power to damn, power to humiliate, power to enter people’s minds and power to control them.”

This is the danger of pastoral power, when individuals drawn by the charisma of a leader who they believe wishes only the best for them, find the trust which has been placed in that leader is ill-founded and misappropriated for his or her own ends.   NOS is an extreme example of how pastoral relationships can be abused and result in damage rather than healing for the client, and indeed the pastor.  The result of the Nine O’Clock Service’s difficulties was that the congregation, hurt and confused, either moved away from the Christian Community altogether, or needed intense care and counselling to go beyond their wounds and start to build trust in the pastoral ministry of the church again. 

The principal, though not sole, agent of the abuses of NOS, Chris Brain, also, needed counselling to examine his own motivation and the results of his manipulative strategies.  It is likely that he was ultimately unaware of the true extent of the mental and spiritual pain he was inflicting on those he used to meet his own power-hungry ends.  Howard (1996: 133) tells us that Brain told a national newspaper
“To find that I am some kind of abuser of people I dearly love, in the areas I most passionately believe in, and thought I had worked so hard for, fills me with utter despair and I do not know what I can say.  I am sorry for the consequences of what I have done.  I can see what I could not see before and I am profoundly and desperately sorry.”
There are questions about whether this confession and apology is completely genuine, but many of those associated with Brain do maintain that he seemed to act without full knowledge of the negative effect he was having on the lives of those who had put themselves into his hands.

There is little doubt of the fact that the structure’s of NOS were in themselves set up to give Brain complete control, they were engineered so that even in his absence he remained a ‘shadowy figure in the background.’  Many church structures in mainstream denominations have the aim of keeping the minister at the head of the leadership structure, but few function so overtly to ensure the power of the leader is always felt and powerlessness is considered appropriate for all others.  The structure was engineered to make all activity of NOS dependent upon Brain.



Dependency is not necessarily a negative concept, it is possible to have a model of appropriate dependence upon the pastor.  Such a model would be one which allows the pastor to make painful observations which are able to move the client on towards healing, one which opens up the possibilities of fruitful pastoral development and ultimately to self-awareness and wholeness on the part of the client.  This model of appropriate dependence is put forward by Bruce Reid (1974)  in his book ‘The Dynamics of Religion’ and revolves around a process which he names ‘oscillation theory’.  Reid (1974: 41) explains
“The picture of the life of the individual is one of periods of engagements with various tasks, alternating with periods of disengagement which may be creative, defensive or simply periods of rest, we have called this alternative process ‘oscillation’”
This theory is pertinent to our discussion in this chapter and in the next and so bears some in depth study as we considering applying its principles to our concerns.

Reid’s understanding of ‘oscillation’ is introduced by using the image of a child’s dependence upon parents, as part of the process of maturing.  Reid (1974: 41: 13) uses the example of children learning to swim, saying that when, for instance, the mother accompanies a child into the swimming pool the child will strike out and explore the water, returning occasionally to rest, and gain physical and emotional strength through reassurance of the presence of mother before striking out further and further in the pursuit of self sufficiency in the water.  This might seem a purely anecdotal argument, but the Reid’s book carries on to show the application of this analogy to pastoral life. 

Using a variety of sources of evidence and by interpreting and applying the works of a number of psychological and social theorists Reid comes to the conclusion that human beings need a certain amount of security in their lives, especially in their relationships, in order to achieve integration as individuals and become a part of the community/society, in other words, to function fully in everyday life.  He tells us (1974: 15)
“We have used the term ‘oscillation’ to refer to the alternation of the child and the adult between periods of autonomous activity and periods of physical or symbolic contact with sources of renewal.”
These sources of renewal take many forms for different people, as stated above, it may simply be rest, or solitude.  It may be ongoing involvement in a group, or family life.  For the purpose of this essay, though, we will particularly consider being an active part of the church, or having an active concern for the spiritual side of one’s life as the main source of renewal for those with whom pastors have most contact.

Dependence & Regression
Reid’s concept of oscillation can be expanded by using the terms ‘regression’ and ‘dependence’ which he uses as the basis for his theory.  Reid contests the often negative uses of these words and explain that both  ‘regression’ and ‘dependence’ can be functional or dysfunctional.  For instance, to immerse oneself fully into a play or a novel one has to suspend certain critical faculties which, he claims, amounts to a form of regression.  In a similar way, says Reid, participation in worship involves similar actions. Reid (1974: 23) writes ‘In worship our thoughts and feelings are engaged by narratives, images and ideas which refer to a world, or a realm of experience, other than our working or social lives.’

In this way our engagement with the world of worship does not conflict with our everyday reality.  Reid (1974: 24-25)uses the example of the hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of Mankind’, stating that to read and sing the lyric to the hymn, which is concerned with personal submission to God,  regret for rebellion against God and confession of the human tendency to disobedience of God, is to attempt to engage in a reality beyond the everyday but still a part of it, that is to use faith-language to express one’s own personal concerns about lifestyle.  In this hymn there is a concern that if God wants the very best for human beings than we are foolish and wrong to ignore, avoid or disregard God’s will. 

Reid tells us that the individual who might feel very embarrassed about saying the words to the hymn, and expressing such submission and humility, in any other context can, without self-consciousness, embrace the event of joining in the words and of assimilating their meaning in the context of worship due to a sense of appropriate dependence and regression.  Because of this positive aspect of appropriate regression and dependence the words are not considered incongruous with daily living and the individual does not feel a negative tension between the two realities of the daily experience of life and work and the experience of worship.

Reid  (1972: 25) elucidates this concept by using talk of two ‘frames of mind, or ways of experiencing a world.’  He explains these by talking of
“…one of which is oriented towards recognising and dealing with present and future realities in the ‘public’ world, which we have called W-activity, and one which is oriented towards images which may be connected with the public world, but which originates in imagination, ‘in the mind’, which we have called S-activity.  Regression is the process by which S-activity becomes dominant, and W-activity becomes subsidiary or is suppressed altogether.”
Much of Reid’s thinking is based around the worship events of the Christian community as the focal point of the pastoral encounter in the Christian Community.  For Reid all pastoral contact takes place against the background of the worshipping fellowship.  From this fellowship the pastor gains their authority, identity, role and function.  In this is the foundation for all contact between pastor and client.

For Reid the focal point of the adult oscillation process is in the gathering of the community at such events as the Holy Communion, the Eucharist.  At this moment the pastor becomes a facilitator of the community’s engagement with the reality that exists beyond the everyday.  The pastor makes it possible to move to ‘regression’ and because of this an appropriate dependence is fostered, this is more obviously visible in denominations where there is a notion of ‘priesthood’ where the priest is the only one able to ‘preside’ at the sacrament of the Eucharist. Developing this understanding Reid (1974: 32) uses two terms with regards to ‘dependence’ and, though lengthy, the appropriate quote is worth giving in full as he explains,
“We have therefore coined the phrase ‘extra-dependence’ where  ‘extra-’ means ‘outside’, to refer to conditions in which the individual may be inferred to regard himself as dependent upon a person or object other than himself for confirmation, protection and sustenance.  Correspondingly we use the term ‘intra-dependence’…to refer to conditions in which the individual may be inferred to regard his confirmation, protection and sustenance as in his own hands.”

Worship, for Reid, is concerned with allowing the movement from intra- to extra- dependence and back to intra-dependence.  This is the foundation for Christian activity and of pastoral activity in general - in allowing people a safe space to ‘receive’ the unconditional love and support of either God, the pastor or the congregation they can move on to a state of self-reliance and personal strength.  Whilst wary of simply transplanting this model on to individual pastoral relationship the model of ‘safe space’ is one that many modern Christian groups, such as ‘Holy Joe’s’ and  ‘Grace’ in London and the ‘Late Late Service’ in Glasgow are striving to model and to promote.

It must be noted that the priest does not become superior to the congregation in these times of ‘extra-dependence’, she or he remains as part of the community and, through the use of authorises or accepted forms, words, orders of service, takes on a role in common with the people as well as distinct from.  Without a congregation, except in Roman Catholic churches, the Communion cannot occur, and even in Roman Churches the theological justification of ‘The Communion of The Saints’ sets the background at which the priest is able to celebrate the Eucharist alone.


Beyond Reid’s theories

If Reid is correct, and the assumption of this study is that his observations are useful and helpful, then it can be inferred that  the pastor gains identity from the community of faith.  Authority and Pastoral power, as mentioned in Chapter 1 above are taken from one’s position in the community or organisation to which the pastor is connected.  Even if an individual exercises an informal pastoral ministry, with people seeking his or her advice due to a belief in the wisdom and compassion of that individual, there would still usually be some recognition by the community (social and/or spiritual) of that individual’s pastoral role.  In Reid’s terms, the pastor enables a community to move to ‘extra-dependence’ and back to ‘inter-dependence’ when the community acknowledges the pastor’s position and role. 

To enable this to happen the pastor seeks to be a part of that community, not apart from it, and they will gain energy from the ongoing encounter with and within that community and will therefore be able to reach out to those beyond the community with compassion and openness.  This places the onus for support of the pastor on the church fellowship, but leaves the pastor in a position where she or he must be a person of honest and integrity, of vulnerability and accountability.  This leads us on to look at the structures of the Church.