BEYOND JUST PUTTING OUT FIRES
I have invited Alan Baroody to share some suggestions that the Committee on Ministry or Pastoral Care Committee might implement as a proactive act on behalf of the clergy in your region:
Suggestions by Alan Baroody
The healthier you keep your clergy, the less committee time you will spend on putting out fires.
1. Make use of and promote Board of Pension and denominational resources for clergy wellness.
2. Make available clergy support groups and clergy spouse support groups.
3. Contract with local resources to provide confidential therapy services for clergy and their families.
4. Encourage “Facebook” or other online support/interest groups.
5. Write boundary expectations into Calls and Covenants for clergy whereby the congregation agrees that a pastor’s spending time with spouse and family is expected, days off are protected, and participation in the activities and leadership within the local community are encouraged.
6. Either in the church’s call or the presbytery’s budget, have funds available for clergy recreational activities or hobbies.
7. Form a pastoral care team and/or have a designated pastor-to-pastors and chaplain for clergy spouses.
8. Be creative in sponsoring clergy retreats and outings (cruises, fishing contests, golf matches, tickets to concerts and civic events, tours or trips).
9. Arrange for corporate contract membership fees for YMCAs and health clubs within the bounds of presbytery.
10. Sponsor health fairs and wellness contests for clergy and their families.
11. Form a mentor-colleague program with means for accountability to make sure contacts are being made. (Don’t forget retired pastors and ministers serving in setting other than the local congregation.)
12. Develop a “First Call” program for new clergy retention and wellness.
13. Sponsor annual clergy and clergy-spouse retreats.
14. Consider sponsoring quarterly district luncheons for clergy.
15. Acknowledge clergy anniversaries, birthdays, ordination dates, etc.
16. Sponsor continuing educational workshops and courses for clergy that have nothing to do with congregational ministry (beginners golf or tennis lessons, foreign language series, “how to”: water ski, fish, snow ski, bowl, sail, bird-watch – use your imagination!)
17. Make sure spiritual resources are available and their use encouraged by clergy and their spouses.
18. Sponsor movie/theater/concert groups.
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