Original Research

A holistic approach to pastoral care and poverty

Johan Janse van Rensburg
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 31, No 1 | a386 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v31i1.386 | © 2010 Johan Janse van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 April 2010 | Published: 05 November 2010

About the author(s)

Johan Janse van Rensburg,, South Africa


The previous approaches to pastoral care are no longer adequate or effective for addressing the many issues related to poverty. The church has done wonderful work in terms of Christian charity. However, more needs to be done to improve the worsening situation of the poor significantly. The clear distinction between pastoral care and Christian charity is a luxury that is no longer affordable. Once we have a holistic understanding of pastoral care and counselling, we will find that we cannot possibly restrict our pastoral attention to encouraging the poor, to giving random advice and to praying. A holistic pastoral theology could lead to empowerment and should be a key concept in pastoral care with poor people and societies. The article offers a theological theory for a holistic approach and some implications of the praxis of counselling.


holistic approach; pastoral care; pastoral models; poverty


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