Church Worker Wellness
The Kansas District takes the health and wellness of church workers seriously. We’ve seen the physical, emotional, relational, financial, intellectual, vocational and spiritual fatigue that can overwhelm church workers and their families. We’d like to help. To that end, we’ve begun identifying specific needs of our church workers and families and are developing strategies and resources for maintaining health and wellness. Our church workers and families matter to us!
The Wholeness Wheel that you see here will take you to the LCMS Church Worker Wellness webpage, where you can find helpful information and an array of links to worker wellness resources.
Concordia Plan Services (CPS)
CPS offers a variety of resources that promote physical, emotional, and financial wellness. We’ve highlighted a couple of those resources here, both of which can be found on the “Members” menu (Mental Health) on the CPS homepage.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Designed to help members and dependents cope with stress, depression, marital difficulties, work-life balance, financial issues, child care needs, and more. All EAP services are free and confidential for covered members of the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) and can be accessed 24/7 at myCigna.com or 866-726-5267.
The Pastoral Support Network (PSN)
The wellbeing of ministers is critical to the wellbeing of the body of Christ. If you’re a pastor and you or someone in your family needs support, check out the Pastoral Support Network (PSN). To access this resource, call 888-712-1805.
Building Up the Body: Worker-to-Worker
Weekly Devotions for Church Workers
Launched in April 2019, these devotions, written by pastors, teachers, and others engaged in church work, focus on our life in Christ while also emphasizing one of the seven areas of wellbeing identified in the Wholeness Wheel. You can find the devotions online on the LCMS Reporter site or by clicking the link above.
Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) and Other Support Agencies
If you’re experiencing a crisis in ministry or could use an opportunity to recharge and refocus, let us know. One of the organizations below might be able to help.
The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel
Doxology offers an innovative program of advanced study retreats to strengthen pastors for the task of faithfully shepherding the souls entrusted to their care. The Classic program curriculum provides resources and strategies needed for joyful service in ministry while also providing spiritual care and encouragement to pastors.
Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat
Standing Stones Conference and Retreat Center, Wickenburg, AZ
Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat provides week-long counseling retreats for pastors, spouses, and ministry leaders in crisis, whether that involves conflict, burnout, depression or some other stressor.
Grace Place Wellness, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, is a preventive wellness ministry that works with church workers, their spouses, and the congregations they serve through retreats, workshops, and presentations that encourage worker wellness in all aspects of life.
GracePoint, located in Nebraska, provides Christian counseling and relational enrichment that promotes mental, spiritual, emotional and relational health and well-being.
Kansas District Resources
Looking for a professional Christian counselor here in Kansas, either for yourself or someone in your care? We’ve developed a directory, organized by region, based on recommendations from members of the District.
The Retreat Center in Herington, Kansas, located in central Kansas near Lake Herington, is available to Kansas District church workers and congregation members. If you’re looking for a quiet place to rest and recharge or need a site for a small group meeting or family reunion, check out the Retreat Center.
In 2002, the Kansas District Board of Directors adopted Res. 02A-02-03: Sabbatical Guidelines and Resources for Congregations of the Kansas District. The resolution, guided by the premise that healthy workers build healthy congregations and schools, encourages planned sabbatical leaves for professional workers.
Kansas District Pastors’ Wives Retreat
The District regularly offers Pastors’ Wives Retreats, which provide an opportunity for pastors’ wives in the Kansas District to network, relax, learn something new, and grow in God’s Word. Details about the next Pastors’ Wives Retreat will be posted as they become available.
Results from the 2016 Church Worker Core Needs Survey
In 2016, the Kansas District conducted a series of regional events for active church workers and their spouses in local parishes. A survey was conducted at each event; 300 of the 400 ordained and commissioned workers in Kansas participated.
The survey data highlighted three primary areas in need of attention:
- Worker Care – There is a need to implement strategies to strengthen congregational care for church workers and their households.
- Financial resources – There is a need to bolster congregational resources to address personal church worker household finances.
- Spiritual health – There is a need to offer strategies to local congregations in their ongoing support of the spiritual wellbeing of their church workers and households.
The Church Worker Care Committee of the District is working to address knowledge, attitude, and skill components of these priorities, taking into account the many ways in which church workers differ.
For more information on resources available for church worker wellness, you’re welcome to contact the following:
Rev. Justin Panzer (Ordained)
785-357-4441, ext. 5001
Jim Bradshaw (Commissioned)
Assistant to the President for Education and Youth
785-357-4441, ext. 5001
Check our directory of circuit visitors for contact information.
Church Worker Care Committee
Comments or suggestions about this page can be shared with your Church Worker Care Committee:
Rev. Andrew Wehling, Chair
Rev. Neil Buono
Trinity, Mission and Shawnee
Rev. Lee Hovel
Emeritus, Overland Park
St. John’s, Topeka
Dr. Rebecca Weller
St. Paul, Clay Center