Ministry Leader Care
Healing for Pastors, Ministry Leaders & Missionaries
We have learned over the past 35 years of ministry that pain in our lives can cause spiritual, emotional and relational growth. If we allow it—it can even enlarge our capacity to minister in a more impactful way! There are times that our greatest disappointments can be God appointments. We, at Centered for Life, provide a framework of thinking that can help leaders have a fresh perspective on their reality.
Safe Place To Heal Ministering to the Ministers
Ministering to the Ministers
Many leaders come in to heal from burnout, betrayal, family conflict, depression, anxiety, marriage challenges, challenges with children, problems within their church or ministry. We are like Switzerland to them—offering counsel and support, free of judgement while they process the pain and move towards healing. Having been in ministry our whole adult lives we have first-hand knowledge and experience of what they are going through. We offer a blend of pastoral care and clinical counseling and are able to address their body, soul and mind issues that arise during our time together, all free of charge.
Married life is a challenge even in the best circumstances! All the stress that comes along with being in the “front lines” takes a great toll on their relationship. We invite leaders to be a part of our marriage retreats, marriage workshops, and marriage coaching until they are on good terms again. We find that most couples in leadership have never taken the time to address their own marriage challenges due to lack of time or finances. We provide late evening hours for them to meet with us in order to provide an extra measure of confidentiality.
What we have found over and over in this journey is that many people do not know who they are, and whose they are! If they have an understanding intellectually, it doesn’t always mean they’ve experienced it relationally in a way that integrates their head knowledge with their heart; so therefore there is a disconnect that can create confusion and loneliness. We spend our summer classes helping leaders get to know themselves, and an opportunity for them to take in spiritual truth that they do not have to teach themselves. These have been revolutionary for those who have journeyed with us. Thomas Merton says it best, “There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, and my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find Him I will find myself and If I find my true self I will find Him. One of Saint Augustine’s greatest prayers was “Grant, Lord, that I may know myself that I might know Thee.” That is our prayers for all these leaders—because they are ministering to and influencing the masses.
Family of Origin
We have discovered that many of the leaders that come our way have not taken the time to look at their families of origin to assess the damage and heal from their past pain. Codependency is a problem of immaturity that often renders a person unable to experience appropriate levels of self-esteem, unable to set boundaries with other people, unable to own their own reality, unable to take care of their own needs and wants appropriately, and unable to express their own reality moderately. We offer them an opportunity to look at these soul issues in a deep, focused way; either one on one or in a group setting. Many choose to do both! We have seen amazing life change through this process.
We learn about boundaries in our earliest years, but often have not learned to do them in a healthy way. This can impact ministries greatly. Having an awareness of boundaries and limits helps people to really discover who they are. Until we know who we are, it is difficult to have healthy relationships whether they are casual acquaintances, friends, family, ministry partners or parishioners. Without this key awareness it can be difficult for leaders to have appropriate boundaries with all the people they deal with! Because hurt people tend to hurt people, it is very important that leaders have strong internal and external boundaries, and know how to implement them with great grace.
There are times when great tragedies happen within our personal lives and ministries. Whether leaders come in to deal with their own personal trauma or one that is happening in their ministries, we have trained clinical staff to administer this brilliant, cutting edge, highly effective trauma therapy. It may be a suicide in the church or a traumatic childhood memory that comes to their mind often—with this accurate and effective treatment we can help them come to a peaceful place in a timely manner.
We consider it a call on our life to help all people, but specifically feel the Lord has laid this great burden on our heart to meet the needs of these amazing people that are serving God with their whole hearts and lives. We are able, through great training, experience and passion able to come along side them and empower them to succeed where ever the Lord has placed them in ministry!
“The staff of The Remedy Project would like to take this opportunity to express how thankful we are for the important role that Centered For Life plays in supporting this ministry. There are many times when, as a ministry leader, I am in of a safe and confidential resource for help and support. CFL has always been that trusted and professional environment that we can depend on to guide us in a godly fashion while demonstrating the highest clinical and ethical standards.
Their valuable services. that help us remain emotionally and spiritually grounded, are offered to us at no charge. In light of the difficult, and many times exhausting, work to which God has called us, certainly CFL’s services provide the much needed respite to help us continue this calling.”
Johnny Keen, CADC
Executive Director of The Remedy Project
“When I came to Centered For Life, I was so depleted and exhausted from the work of ministry that I began to question my call and my ability to carry it out. I was not capable of meeting the needs of my church or family, and just to be present with them took all of my energy. Because I was in ministry and feared sharing my personal struggle, I tried to cover and push through until I had come to a point where I could no longer cover. I was in ‘burnout!'”
There are no words for my gratitude for Debby’s voice of encouragement to spend time at CFL. I experienced a refreshing of my soul through the beautiful team at the center. I experienced the healing available through EMDR. I found the freedom that comes from being in authentic community. I took the tools back to our church and implemented her teachings for spiritual growth and self care; and I had fresh vision for creating authentic community. CFL has had such an impact on my life that I am bringing my leaders to a retreat on St. Simons Island for the 2nd year and using Debby’s strategy to guide the emotional health of our church. I can confidently say that our church is the healthiest it has been since we opened our doors, and that I personally know how to recognize my limits and step back as needed.
We are a part of ARC churches, and I believe that there are many church leaders that would greatly benefit from the partnership with Centered for Life! As much as I have traveled and experienced inner healing from other protocols, I have not found anything quite like CFL! It is a great treasure that needs to be uncovered.”