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Worship, preaching and pastoral care: here are three very important pieces in the life of any church denomination. Worship, as I see it, is how you lead the congregation in the forms of worship that are traditional in a particular faith. This would include the pastor addressing the congregation (like the bailiff announcing that the court is in session). It will include the reading of scripture, direction in what music is to be sung, the passing of an offering plate, announcements and prayers.
Preaching is the sermon or message that is delivered to the congregation based upon scripture and (more and more) related research into customs, regions, politics, etc., during a particular time related to the scriptures used and the message being delivered. The preaching is like a lecture. However, the purpose of this is to touch one spiritually as well as mentally. This is perhaps the portion of the service that requires the most preparation, and often will have the greatest impact on the members of the congregation.
Pastoral care, as I understand it, is something provided by a member of the pastor's supportive ministries. It might refer to making sure the pastor has the materials he/she needs in the pulpit, including a glass of water, a copy of the bulletin (order of worship), and perhaps even care of the pastor's robes. This may also be offered in the form of a prayer. Where there are others to assist in the church (ushers, the sexton, etc.), pastoral care is special support provided to the pastor, most especially before the Sunday service begins.
#6 offers excellent advice, in terms of turning to the scriptures. Also, each denomination will have specific guidelines that it follows. This would be a good source if you have a specific denomination in mind.
I would recommend using the suggested reading lists that whatever institution you are studying with gives you to read up on this topic before you start studying. This will give you valuable background knowledge of texts that your tutors, who will be marking your assignments, consider to be key, and therefore will help you get ahead of the game.
As a new student of Worship, Preaching and Pastoral Care, your best first step is to search Scripture and find the passages that exemplify these ideas. For instance, while the Psalms are written as supplications most often related to times of trouble (and therefore full of pleas for revenge and protection) there are nonetheless brilliant passages exemplifying worship. II Chronicles 5 through 7 gives a beautiful example of worship as does Revelations 7:9-12. The Book of Acts in the New Testament offers some great examples of preaching as in Acts 2. Examples of pastoral care can be found in John's letters, I John, II John, and III John, along with some of Paul's shorter letters like those to Timothy, I Timothy and II Timothy.
I agree with post #2 - as you have the opportunity, talk with and/or observe as many active religious leaders as you can. If you can experience different faith traditions and different worship settings, you will gain an appreciation for the vast number of approaches that can be used. Don't forget non-worship situations, too - "pastoral care" frequently takes place outside of the official church/synagogue/mosque/etc.
I would suggest speaking with a local pastor or priest regarding the topics. Given they surely have a history with all of the topics you have noted, I am sure that they would be able to lead you in the right direction. They have probably read texts which could help you in regards to the topics.
Thank you indeed.
Do you have a particular text in mind? I think the best way to approach this topic is talk to other preachers or pastors. I would discuss these issues with a few different ones, so you can get an idea of how they approach thier duties differently. Some may resonate with you.
Ah! thank you for your prompt suggestions.
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