The spiritual gift of pastoring is a gift that empowers individuals to build effective Christian communities and foster long-term relationships centered around Christian formation. Contrary to popular belief, this charism is not limited to pastors or priests but can be found in many different roles and contexts.

The Core of Pastoring

At its core, the charism of pastoring is all about walking with people for a significant period, regardless of the circumstances that may arise. Individuals with this gift exhibit a natural inclination towards cultivating long-lasting relationships. They have a desire to watch people grow spiritually and willingly embark on the journey with them. This willingness to accompany others and provide support is a fundamental characteristic of the pastor charism.

Expressions of the Charism

The pastor charism can manifest in diverse roles such as spiritual directors, managers, coaches, and leaders of small groups. These individuals seek to nurture personal growth and serve as resources and companions in the spiritual journey of others. Pastoring is less about being a formal teacher or mentor but rather about simply being present and walking alongside others, sharing in their joys, struggles, and achievements.

Biblical Examples

Looking to the life of Jesus Christ, we find a powerful illustration of pastoring in action. Jesus spent three years living, walking, and forming close relationships with His disciples. His ministry was not just about teaching intellectually but about experiencing life together. Through this approach, the disciples came to understand the values and principles they needed to embrace in their own lives. The early Church carried on this tradition of pastoring as we see in the letters written by the apostles to the different churches they planted, nurturing long-term relationships and spiritual growth.

Modern Expressions

In our world today, the pastor charism can be seen in the unglamorous dedication of ministry leaders who commit themselves to walking with families, leading small groups, or accompanying individuals in their spiritual formation journey. These individuals prioritize building lasting Christian communities and are willing to invest their time and energy into fostering personal growth and spiritual accompaniment.

Discovering Your Charism

If you resonate with the idea of pastoring and would like to explore further, visit our website, manypartsministries.com, where you can access a free PDF guide to all 24 Charisms and take our charism assessment. Understanding your charism can help you discern how the Holy Spirit is at work in your life and guide you in playing an active role in building up the Church.

The charism of pastoring is a powerful gift that empowers individuals to build effective Christian communities and foster long-term relationships centered around Christian formation. It is not limited to clergy or formal roles but can be found in various contexts where individuals are committed to walking alongside others, supporting their spiritual growth, and building lasting connections. By embracing the pastor charism, we can embody the example set by Jesus and the early Church, contributing to the ongoing spiritual formation and development of our communities. So let us embrace this gift and use it to further build the Church of Christ.

Jill Simons [00:00:00]:

Hello, and welcome to Charisms for Catholics. My name is Jill Simons, and I’m the Executive Director at Many Parts Ministries, where we equip the Body of Christ by helping people learn about and discern their charisms, which is really another word for spiritual gifts. When you discern your charisms, able to see how the Holy Spirit is already active in your life and where he is inviting you to further build the Church. Let’s dive in.

Jill Simons [00:00:32]:

Today, I’m gonna share with you about the charism of Pastoring and what it is and how it shows up in people’s lives. So in a nutshell, the charism of Pastoring is about empowering an individual to build effective Christian community and to enter into long-term relationships that are really centered around Christian formation. So this is not exclusive to pastors. A lot of people will think that this is one that’s kind of reserved for priests because of that terminology, but that’s not true. Pastoring is really about walking with people for a long time. So that be a natural, function of being a pastor in a community, being the priest in a specific community, but it’s not exclusive to that role. You could also have someone who leads a small group that has a large Pastoring charism. You might someone who just really keeps tight-knit, close friends that has a pastoring charism. One of the questions I typically ask people who are discerning a Pastoring charism is do you have a lot of friends from childhood that you still keep in touch with. There’s usually that core orientation towards longevity in relationships, not that you’re pastoring your childhood friends, although you might be, but there’s this natural inclination towards longevity in relationships and really wanting to be with people for a long time. Even if distance and time and life situations kind of get in the way, typically your person with pastoring gonna be undeterred. That’s not gonna bother them. That’s not gonna keep them from maintaining a relationship with someone even if it’s kind of more inconvenient now than it might have been in the past. And so when you have a Pastoring charism, there is the desire to watch people grow spiritually and to be along for the ride with them. So sometimes people that are spiritual directors will have a Pastoring charism. Other times, people who run, run companies or run small teams, managers, things like that might have a Pastoring charism because their desire is to watch people grow and really be a part of that growth process for people. Coaches, as well, is a group of people who typically or or sometimes have a Pastoring charism because their desire is to watch people grow and be a resource and be a companion in that journey. It’s less about being somebody’s specific teacher or mentor or discernment source, although those charisms can obviously be given in conjunction with Pastoring, but Pastoring itself is less about those things and a lot more about walking with people. And we see the expression of this pastor and charism in Jesus Christ pastoring the 12 Apostles, walking with the apostles for the 3 years of Jesus’ public ministry and forming them as people. Not by necessarily getting out a whiteboard and teaching them exactly all of the things that they needed to know but but in doing life together and living the faith together, the disciples come to understand what it is that they are meant to emulate in their lives, how they are meant to live. And that is a great example of Jesus’ pastoring of his disciples. And this is the same thing that we see the disciples then turning around and doing the churches in the early Church. That’s why we have the letters where, the the men that had planted the different churches in the New Testament. So for instance, the church in Corinth, Saint Paul is still writing letters to the church in Corinth to continue that long-term relationship, which was a lot less high touch in a non digital age. It was, you know, very analog to write letters and and have them sent somewhere. But there was still that desire for longevity the relationship, to not just plant the church and take off, but to be in long term relationship with these people and be a part of their spiritual formation and growth. And that’s what we’re looking for in a Pastoring charism. Great expressions of this are really going to be people that are in ministerial roles that want to just kind of unglamorously continue with people. So maybe there’s an opportunity to walk with families for a long term formation process in a church, or there’s a opportunity to lead a small group for several years. I know of several small groups in my community here Tulsa that have been together for

Jill Simons [00:05:27]:

20, 30,

Jill Simons [00:05:29]:

one of them, even 42, I think, is the longest I know of, 42 years. Having the same leader throughout all that time, some members coming and go as people move and things like that, but having that longevity of spiritual formation and really spiritual accompaniment is what we expect to see in that Pastoring Charism.

Jill Simons [00:05:51]:

Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode of Charisms for Catholics. you would like to learn more about your charism or begin your own discernment journey, head to our website at manypartsministries.com where you can download our free PDF guide to all 24 Charisms and also begin your own by taking our charism assessment.