Case Study: Present But Not Accounted For
The news of Biff and Mable’s daughter getting pregnant sent a shockwave of speculation through their local church. The pastors recommended marriage counseling, which you reluctantly agreed to do. After four weeks of intensive counseling, several things were becoming clear to you.
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- Their 19-year marriage was an agreement to coexist, though neither one of them ever said as much.
- Biff chose not to get the help he needed for his passivity, while Mable opted not to be a biblical wife.
- Biff found escapes in his work, sports, and porn, while Mable escaped through ministry endeavors.
- They had no help from their local church. The church has a ministry-driven philosophy, rather than a relational-driven one. Their approach to people is pragmatic and utilitarian.
(Though Biff and Mable are responsible for how they live, the church is responsible for providing supplemental care. Hebrews 13:17 teaches that the pastor is accountable for the kind of leadership-shepherding he provides for his people.)
The pastor calls you for an update on your counseling with them. During the call, he asks how the church could have been more proactive in helping Biff and Mable. Later, he asks you what changes he could implement in the short-term as well as the long-term, to provide better care for his people.
Case Study Questions
- How could the church have been more proactive in helping them?
- Write out a short-term plan for the pastor to implement.
- Write out a long-term plan for implementation.
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