Pastoral Carer and Companion Workshops

In loungerooms, cafes, churches and home offices… through Zoom screens, Whatsapp messages and calls… people are listening, asking questions, allowing silence, crying, laughing and praying with candidates and intercultural workers all around the globe.

Baptist Mission Australia highly values the large community of people who provide support, friendship, care and prayer for our intercultural teams. You are a vital part of our community and make an important contribution to mission. 

We want to support and equip you in your roles by facilitating regular workshop for you to listen, learn, reflect and grow in your capacity to provide excellent pastoral care. We’ve invited guests to share their expertise, learnings and experiences during the webinars, as well as provide opportunities for carers and companions to interact.

Register below to recieve the Zoom link for the workshops.

Workshop Registration Form

I am registering for:

What's your interest?:

June 15: Mental health for Intercultural Workers with Ruth Warwick

Workshop 2: Are you OK? Mental health for intercultural team members 

When: Wed 15 June, 7:00-8:30pm AEST 
Facilitator: Ruth Warwick, Counsellor
When life brings significant challenges, it can often affect our mental health. Experts tell us that one in four of us will be struggling with a common mental illness at any one time. While there seems to be more awareness and resources on this topic than ever before, we still have a way to go in reducing stigma and offering support that is helpful to those struggling.

In this workshop, find out what you can say and do to offer help or how to seek help for yourself, and also discover the difference faith in God can make to finding healing and wholeness.
Topics covered in the workshop include:
  • What is mental health?
  • How do we offer or seek help?
  • What do you say or do if someone tells you they are not OK?
  • God cares for those struggling and those supporting
Drawing from her own lived experience, Ruth has become passionate about helping to support and educate others on the best mental health care practices, especially within the Christian community. She is a qualified Mental Health First Aid instructor and loves sharing her knowledge and story with others.

Ruth currently works as a Counsellor, starting her own counselling practice this year.  She especially enjoys providing support for those journeying with mental illness, whilst also continuing her Bachelor in Counselling studies.
She enjoyed the chance of a lifetime, taking some of this training and sharing it with the Baptist Mission Australia teams in Malawi and Mozambique!

Aug 30: Spiritual Direction for Men with Grant Bickerton

Workshop 3: Spiritual Direction for Men

When: Tues 30 Aug, 7:00-8:30pm AEST 
Facilitator: Grant Bickerton, Power to Change

This workshop will explore some ideas for assisting men to grow spiritually in the context of a pastoral care relationship. We will discuss different relational contexts for growing spiritually and the particular role of a pastoral care relationship in men’s overall spiritual development. 

Topics covered in the workshop include: 
  • A loose framework for a pastoral care conversation 
  • Tips on connecting through spiritual conversations; and 
  • Benefits of constructing an overall companion/ pastoral care plan.
Grant is a Psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in Christian ministry with Power to Change (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Australia and overseas. He has gained experience engaging men around pastoral and spiritual concerns in both the context of psychological counselling and personal evangelism and discipling.

Grant is currently serving in the Member Care team with Power to Change, focussing on the development and well-being of intercultural team members.

Sept 15: The Dynamics of Transference with Jane Harris

Workshop 1: The Dynamics of Transference

Thurs 15 Sept, 5:30pm - 7.00pm AEST
Facilitator: Jane Harris, Baptist Mission Australia Specialist Care Adviser

Transference is the unconscious process that leads us to respond to people, often at our first meeting, in a way that doesn’t lead to harmonious relationships.  

In this short workshop Jane will talk about how this process works and how becoming consciously aware of it helps us to respond differently, leading to understanding, healing and deeper unity. 

There will be time for interaction, including questions, at the end of the workshop.
Jane Harris has extensive experience in providing psychotherapy, counselling, supervision, debriefing, training and pastoral care for intercultural team members. Her passion in supporting intercultural team members has grown through decades of work with many individuals, churches, wellbeing networks and organisations including SIM and WEC. 

More Information for Companions and Pastoral Carers

Pastoral Care Hands
If you are a Companion or pastoral carer of a Baptist Mission Australia team member, then you will be on their pastoral care 'hand'! 

What does this mean? 

It means that a team member in preparation or intercultural team member recognises that you might provide friendship, relationship, care and support to them on their mission journey. So, they’d love you to be part of their pastoral care ‘hand’. This metaphor helps people recognise up to five people who form their pastoral care network. 
You and the intercultural team member or team member in preparation will best determine how the relationship will work.
Some people might set up a Signal, WhatsApp or email group to communicate with their ‘hand’ as a group. They might use this to share prayer needs, concerns and celebrations. They might set up a regular Zoom gathering to share needs and pray together. Or, they might communicate with each person in different ways at different times. 

Your role is to provide care, prayer, support, encouragement and celebration. You might  increase your involvement in times of stress and vulnerability, for example, poor health, transitions, when there are few team members, times of team conflict, etc. 

There is no expectation that you report anything back to Baptist Mission Australia. You are to hold your information and stories with respect, integrity and confidentiality. However, you may encourage the intercultural team member to seek additional support when appropriate. You may also seek a team member’s permission to raise any concerns with Baptist Mission Australia leadership if necessary.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact Jane Norman on 

THANK YOU for your contribution to God’s mission in this vital way. 

companion guidelines    

If you have any questions or queries, please contact Jane Norman on