For more than 20 years, The Center for Ministerial Care has facilitated a restoration ministry that is focused on assisting ministers and their families in need of healing and renewal.
THE RESTORATION PROCESS
For more than 20 years, The Center for Ministerial Care has facilitated a restoration ministry that is focused on assisting ministers and their families in need of healing and renewal. In the field, ministers provide care for the people they minister to; they build relationships with them and treat them with respect regardless of their mistakes. As a ministry for ministers, CMC strives to treat ministers with the same level of respect and care when caring for them. The restoration ministry is here to help ministers and their families to work through extremely difficult circumstances, to live the life they were created to live, and to do the ministry they were called to do.
It’s not always easy…
Every case is unique and there are no cookie-cutter solutions, but the focus of the ministry is to help clients to succeed in working through three common challenges in their restoration:
1. Overcoming Crisis
In most therapeutic processes, there is an activating event or condition that advances the need for counseling to assist with personal or familial disturbances. However, in a restoration process ministers and their families must navigate through the fallout of the immediate event as well as the broad financial, professional and social ramifications of the associated consequences. This level of distress and shock can overload an individual’s or a family’s abilities to cope, and if support isn’t given, it can further complicate the process or lead to collapse.
2. Personal Restoration
Clients must undertake the difficult work of reconciling where they are, exploring how they got there, and embracing the changes required to move forward and build the lives they envision. In general, we change because we learn enough to want to or because we are hurt enough to have to. Support is offered to assist clients in their endeavors to experience meaningful change, helping them to rebuild on a solid foundation less susceptible to failure.
3. Professional Restoration
Restoration clients will ultimately begin to re-engage with ministry and to integrate their experiences from the process into it. While this presents a wonderful opportunity for the minister to pursue a new calling, it also presents an opportunity to fall into old habits to deal with familiar anxieties. Uncertainty about the future, an emboldened fear of additional failure, and insecurities about how they will be judged by peers can be paralyzing. The restoration ministry offers support by confronting these fears and encouraging clients to focus on the positive impact their experiences can have on their future ministries and relationships.
You are not alone…
A central component of the restoration process will be the involvement of others in the case. The work of restoration will include close coordination with the clients’ State Administrative Bishop, a Mentoring Pastor, and additional local professionals when prudent. The involvement of these other participants is not to complicate the process or compromise confidentiality, but rather to provide more localized resources for the client, to promote connectivity, to provide for spiritual supervision, and to increase the overall chances of success. Additionally, The Church of God as a denomination, by supporting this ministry, is actively investing in and committing to the success of each family that enters the restoration program.
Here’s how it works…
Our objective at Ministerial Care is not to judge or to figure out who deserves something. Our objective is to lift the fallen, restore the broken, and to heal the hurting. Here is a brief overview of how we hope to accomplish this:
If at all possible, clients are encouraged to visit us here in Cleveland, Tennessee for a time of rest and counseling. Couples can stay in the Fulbright Sabbatical House while they are here, so the costs are minimized to basic travel expenses. Guests usually stay for a couple of days and take part in counseling intensives here at CMC during their visit. Some couples visit more than once during restoration, and we are always eager to do these valuable face-to-face sessions. Clients that take part in a couple of hours of counseling before and after lunch, essentially receive several weeks’ of counseling sessions. Intensives can be very impactful, especially if done early in the process where a solid framework can be established.
Participants in the program are contacted periodically for the duration of their process, sometimes for counseling and sometimes simply to maintain a connection with the clients, but we are always available and willing to respond to needs as they present themselves. At times, we have communicated with clients almost daily, while at other times clients are just fine with the typical contacts we make. Ultimately, the frequency and intensity of these contacts is based on the client’s needs. Participants are also asked to establish consistent contact with the Mentoring Pastor that is helping them. Since the mentor becomes the client’s pastor during the process, these contacts should be simple to achieve. Furthermore, this relationship serves a critical function in that it promotes a healthy connection between the client and the church and provides for spiritual support.
The structure of the restoration process adheres to the structure put forward in the Minutes of The Church of God, found within the section for The Center for Ministerial Care. The process of restoration typically lasts for one or two years, depending on the nature of the issues involved. The first half of the process is a time of silence. This is where a great deal of support is offered in order to help clients recover from difficult experiences and to achieve some measure of stability. The second half of the process is a time for limited ministry where clients begins to reincorporate ministry into their lives and to contemplate what God has for them in the future.
If you are in need of restorative care and you are a potential candidate for ministerial restoration, please contact your Administrative Bishop to get started. If you would like to know more about the ministry, feel free to contact The Center for Ministerial Care for assistance.
Ask your Administrative Bishop to visit this page and click the link in the section below so he can initiate the process.
ADMINISTRATIVE BISHOP INITIATES
The Administrative Bishop should click or tap the link below to begin the process. You will be directed to the initial form. Once the form is completed, you will receive a confirmation and the applicant will receive a link to complete the next step. The Administrative Bishop and applicant will receive email notifications as the process moves through the steps of completion.