“Tend My Sheep” book is written by Harold Taylor. He has written this book specifically on the subject of pastoral care and counseling. This book unites the Christian faith and modern psychology for use in pastoral care and counseling. Biblical references are included to help the reader understand counseling situations. The book also teaches how to use Scripture in care and counsel. The book is divided into 3 parts with 4 chapters each.
The first chapter tells, why God calls the priest a shepherd, where the shepherd is mentioned in the Old and New Testament, a shepherd’s work. It also tells us about the false prophets and wicked shepherds and pattern set by Jesus as the Good Shepherd and His attitude towards people. The second chapter tells us about Christianity and the fellowship of the church. It tells us about the early and medieval church, its improvement, and after. It discusses whether we can use the ideas of past leaders. It also tells us which patterns to avoid and which patterns to use. The third chapter tells us that it is necessary to understand people, especially pastors, what we believe about people, and also different views for studying about people. It tells us about the Bible and Biblical view of man, about people’s basic needs, and also three important facts to know about people. It also tells us about external and internal influences that shape people. It tells us about a pastor and his people, what the pastor needs to study and know about his people and how to treat them. It also tells us what to practice. The fourth chapter tells us about understanding ourselves. It tells us about our identity, personality, roles, and relationships. It tells us about the Pastor and His personality, Ways to Self-knowledge and we should think positively.
Chapter 5 tells that people need counseling in many different situations, it discusses the types of counseling required, the best person to do the counseling, and the methods to be used. The type and method of counseling depend on the situation and the person or group seeking counsel. Chapter 6 discusses the approach a pastor has to take when counseling individuals. It discusses the positive attitudes a pastor needs to have when counseling. It also discusses the negative attitudes a pastor should not have when counseling. It also describes the feelings involved in counseling. Chapter 7 discusses the process of counseling and some methods of counseling based on particular situations. Chapter 8 discusses the spiritual resources that are available to a pastor for counseling. It covers the work of the Holy Spirit in counseling. It teaches how to effectively use the bible in counseling. It discusses why and how and when to use prayer. It emphasizes the fellowship of the Church. It also permits the use of sacraments such as Baptism and the Lord’s supper as resources for counseling.
Chapter 9 discusses the four basic aspects of marriage. Knowing these will help pastoral counselors effectively help people in overcoming marriage-related problems. The author discusses variations in marriage customs across different cultures. He discusses a few universal factors that validate a marriage and have influence over it. He goes on to discuss the Christian understanding of marriage. He then presents some common problems relating to marriage and its causes. And also suggest ways to overcome these problems. Chapter 10 discusses how a Pastor counselor should approach and meet the healing needs of the sick. This healing needs to be wholesome, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. The pastor has to be sensitive to the attitude people have towards sickness and healing. The pastor should be comfortable about engaging in all three main avenues of healing: medical care, emotional and spiritual care, and charismatic healings. Chapter 11 discusses the care and counseling needed by those who are bereaved of their loved ones. It also briefly discusses the purpose of funerals on how to arrange and conduct them. The lesson covers topics like the experience of bereavement, stages of grief, and various ideas about death, including the Christian idea of death. Chapter 12 discusses the impact of change in the environment on a person or a family. It also discusses the role a pastor can play in helping them to adjust themselves to the change by helping them understand why they feel the way they feel.
The book introduces the discipline of Christian counseling to those who are aspiring to be pastoral counselors. As the author has mentioned in one place that to be an effective counselor, one would need to study more books on the subject of counseling. This book by itself is insufficient to be a counselor. This is just an introductory book. The book is easy to read and understand. Through its case studies, the author has beautifully communicated the cultural and regional factor that defines the way a pastor needs to counsel those who come to him for counseling.