Most of us who have served in various ministry capacities (e.g., as pastors, missionaries, lay church leaders, etc.…) are intimately familiar with the potential dark realities of the ministry environment. Empirical research confirms that ministry is indeed often a difficult endeavour, imposing significant stress upon our spiritual life, our marital and family relationships, and our own emotional and physical well-being. Often, those who need counselling and care the most are Christian leaders who, over the course of their ministry journey, have been deeply wounded by fellow Christians, finding themselves now downtrodden, burnt out, isolated, misjudged, and discouraged. In such cases, how does the Christian counsellor go about engaging the process of healing for those who have been hurt seemingly by the very same faith/faith community that the counsellor belongs to? This workshop will present practical and conceptual considerations and recommendations in the care of Christian leaders who have been emotionally wounded by the ministry context, drawing from both Christian theology (e.g., the doctrine of incarnation, theodicy and the problem of evil, etc.…) and psychological research (e.g., in the literature on grief, trauma/abuse, and spiritual coping/spiritual struggles).
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