Professional ministry can be very demanding. Clergy often face a unique combination of challenges and stressors which, if not managed properly, can lead to a lack of health and well-being. In addition, many clergy often overlook their own needs as they put the needs of those they serve first. The Wellness Conversation program is designed to encourage self-care by helping clergy remain in touch with personal, professional and spiritual resources which can make happier, healthier pastors.
First developed with and put into practice for the United Methodist Church, The Wellness Conversation has proven its value and effectiveness – as well as its ability to be applicable to virtually any faith with appropriate modification.
THE CLERGY WELLNESS CONVERSATION
The Main Objective: The “Wellness Conversation” program is a means of providing emotional/mental wellness support to clergy by helping to increase “the awareness of wellness issues and encouraging positive action to change behaviors that will result in improved physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and relational wellness.”
The Form It Takes: The Wellness Conversation is not intended to be a therapy session, but a safe place for dialogue and exploration of the interests and concerns of the clergyperson. This includes the important capability of discussing ideas and feelings away from expectations of either members or other officials of the congregation.
Assured Privacy: Participation is self-motivated and is completely confidential. No record or tracking of visits is kept.
Financial Incentive (Optional): Early iterations of The Wellness Conversation began utilizing a small monetary incentive ($10 or so per visit) to partially offset time, gasoline or incidental expense faced by the clergy member. This proved to be a positive component, and one that typically results in greater acceptance of and participation in the program. An optional feature, then, but one that you may wish to consider.
To discuss the possibility of developing a Wellness Conversation Program for clergy members of your church, synagogue, temple or other faith-based organization, consult with (NAME OF CONTACT) at The Ecumenical Center.
To set up an individual Wellness Conversation, call The Center and provide the code name: (CODE NAME).