Fortress Press

Beyond Church Walls: Cultivating a Culture of Care

Beyond Church Walls

Cultivating a Culture of Care

Richard Rouse (Author)


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Pastoral care has been traditionally understood as pastoral acts administered to individuals or small groups by an ordained or lay religious practitioner. As congregations in the twenty-first century begin to reclaim the missional nature of church, this view must be broadened to include care and concern for the needs of the larger community. A missional perspective of pastoral care embraces the notion that all of God's peoplemdash;not just trained professionalsmdash;are called to partner in the healing and redemption of the world.

In Beyond Church Walls, Rick Rouse sets out to articulate precisely what such an approach to pastoral care looks like—and the substantial impact it can have on congregations and communities. A skilled teacher and pastor with deep experience in real communities, Rouse leads readers through the changing realities of the twenty-first century and to new ways for missional churches to succeed in offering pastoral care for the whole community.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451490343
  • eBook ISBN 9781506410272
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 188
  • Publication Date April 1, 2016


1.Reclaiming God's Vision for Mission
2.From Individualism to Community: Reframing Pastoral Care
3.Maneuvering the Challenges of Change
4.Contexts of Care:
5.Creating Caring Communities
6.A Congregational Approach to Community Organizing
7.When Prayer Is Not Enough: The Power of Ritual to Heal
8.Developing a Vision and Strategy for a Discipleship Congregation
Appendix I: Bible Study "The Good Samaritan: A Parable of Care"
Appendix II: A Missional Approach to Pastoral Care: Case Study Scenarios
Appendix III: Sample Rites
Appendix IV: A Ministry Assessment Survey: The Seven Keys
Appendix V: Fifty Ways to Take Church to Your Community
Appendix VI: Example of Strategic Vision Statement


"What often passes for 'pastoral care' in many churches is a degradation of truly, peculiarly, mission-driven pastoral care. Rick Rouse connects our care with our leadership of a church that realizes we can only be faithful by being the church beyond the walls of the church, joining in Christ's active embrace of his beloved Creation. Rouse calls us forward to truly Christian pastoral care."

Will Willimon | Duke Divinity School

"Rick Rouse is a vibrant, transformative, resilient, and evangelical leader whose rich life experience and passion for the church oozes through the pages of this book and its helpful appendices. Knowing that the church is called, in the name of Jesus, to heal and bless the whole world, Rouse makes the theological case for congregations to turn their focus outward and to invest their energies in raising up and deploying people rather than maintaining programs. Congregations who are able to replicate the culture of care put forward by Rouse will discover they truly have become authentic communities who think like Jesus, love like Jesus, and act like Jesus."

Rick Barger | president, Trinity Lutheran Seminary

"Rick Rouse not only calls congregations to move into Christ's mission, he provides examples and strategies that really work! Discipleship is both an individual and community process that revitalizes Christ's church and Rouse provides a path for vital ministry."

Michael W. Foss | pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, West Des Moines, Iowa

"An experienced pastor and well-formed guide, Rick Rouse aims to help us navigate the shifting place of the church in relation to culture and context. Drawing together scripture, theology, and the practical wisdom found in ministry stories and strategies, this work's clear purpose is to imagine congregations turned toward care for the larger communities of which they are a part. Pastors and congregational leaders will find here a lively vision for the church acting out what it celebrates in its worship: Jesus Christ, the generosity of God for each and every one—for this whole wide world."

Thomas H. Schattauer | Wartburg Theological Seminary

"Rick Rouse continues his valuable contribution to missional renewal in the church by refining our understanding of the 'priesthood of all believers' to 'the pastoral care of all disciples/caring communities' in mission with and for neighbors and the world in the spirit of Jesus. Offering thoughtful examination, inspiring examples, and practical guidance. Beyond Church Walls is for church leaders and every disciple, encouraging and challenging communities and individuals to join with others in creating diverse caring communities organized and committed to the mission plan of God for the good of all. Many thanks to Rick for this excellent resource."

Lyle McKenzie | assistant to the National Bishop – Worship, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada