Updated: Jan 24, 2019
Pastor George Wood is excited now that the calendar has turned to 2019, because now the Underground Network’s brand new Pastoral Care and Counseling Department has opened its doors. The new department provides microchurches spiritual and emotional support through preventative and specialized pastoral care and counseling.
“It’s trying to get right relationship with God again," George said "Typically when you need to seek counseling, something is out of order in your life. A lot of it is helping someone see what is out of order and how it got out of order, and how to get that in line once again."
George is the director of the new program, and he points to three primary areas of focus for the department. Here are the details, in his words:
God’s presence within us heals our souls, bodies, and relationships. However, we often develop patterns or behaviors that separate us from God’s presence. The Pastoral Care and Counseling Department will be a place to help those that are lost find their way back home. Pastoral care helps bring an awareness of God’s presence, guiding and walking beside a person as they seek the Lord’s presence.
Life can become too complicated at times, and if the systems we have in place cannot handle tragedy or failure, counseling may be the solution. It is advice and support given to people to help deal with problems and make decisions. Multiple meetings are typically required, and it is a long-term journey.
Serving others often results in burnout. It takes a union and resting with Christ to sustain a life of ministry, and the Pastoral Care and Counseling Department will help clients develop healthier patterns of living, or preventative care. This will be achieved through workshops and classes addressing healthy rituals such as worship, fasting, solitude, and sabbaticals.
The Pastoral Care and Counseling Department will operate similar to how the Underground Clinic does, offering services for the microchurch ministries and their families. The client doesn’t have to officially be in a microchurch either, but can be someone the microchurch is connecting with or ministering to.
And though George is thrilled by this opportunity, the transition is bittersweet since he has had to step away from the day-to-day operations of Timothy Initiative, the men’s recovery ministry he founded 10 years ago. He is still TI’s Executive Director, though, providing direction and overseeing matters, just not the day-to-day ones. Mike Malpede has taken over as TI director.