Fall 2018 Health Ministry Connections

How to Use This Issue in Your Congregation

Clergy health and effective leadership of a congregation go hand in hand. Clergy pour themselves into caring for and leading a congregation, and a congregation that supports the health of its clergy enters into a partnership of ministry that benefits clergy, congregation, and community. This issue of Church Health Reader highlights some practical aspects of how the congregation cares for the pastor by caring about whole-person health.

How can you use this issue in your health ministry?

1. Open a caring conversation about the health of clergy in your congregation.
Read “The Pastor’s Health” Whether you represent clergy or congregation, consider these key questions.

  • Do we have realistic expectations of our pastor and other staff that encourage them to pursue healthy living?
  • Do we have a safe, nonjudging support system for pastoral health?
  • What are our strengths in supporting pastoral health, and what are the areas where we need to do better?
  • What resources can help us be the caring people we want to be?

2. Take Sabbath seriously.
Read “Searching for Sabbath” and explore not only the benefits of well-being to clergy who are free to practice Sabbath whole-heartedly but benefits to congregations
who enter this practice as well.

  • How can a health ministry team help protect your pastor’s ability to have a full Sabbath one day a week?
  • How can you invite members of the congregation to share their Sabbath practices with one another?
  • Gather teaching and practical resources on Sabbath. Organize both educational times and Sabbath experiences to improve understanding of the meaning and purpose of Sabbath in your congregation.
  • Share your personal experiences—or honest challenges—with practicing Sabbath with others in your church.

3. Use the “Model for Healthy Living for Clergy” tool from this issue.
If you’re a pastor, plan how you can work your way through the seven areas of the Model against the backdrop of your calling to ministry. If you’re a member of the
congregation or a health ministry team, invite your pastor to sit down with you and look at the tool together and offer encouragement. For multi-staff ministry contexts, download additional copies at www.chreader.org.

Download the Fall 2018 Health Ministry Connections flyer here

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