According to a new study, three-quarters of Americans–including Christians deeply involved with their churches–never consult with or seek advice from their pastor. Some of the people polled said their church is just too big for them to have a relationship with their pastor. The study cited experts who said that people today tend to look for help online, rather than asking an actual human being.
I suspect that another reason is that most pastors are not particularly equipped to give their parishioners the personal guidance they need. In seminary they probably took a “counseling” course that was largely a run-through of how to apply principles of secular psychology. Ironically, many of those psychological approaches are no longer used by actual psychologists. Most pastors have had little training in the “cure of souls,” even though the church has a rich heritage based on centuries of Scriptural reflection and experience in the art of pastoral–and spiritual–care.