Why Clergy and Their Spouse Should Attend

Professional athletes spend years polishing and perfecting their skills. Months of effort each year in polishing skills in football is invested for a few hours of game time. Golf and tennis stars spend large amounts of money for personal coaches and “lessons” to help them improve their game over their entire professional career! Musicians spend their lives practicing, taking lessons, and improving the skills that they have already perfected.

Nearly all professionals are now required to have regular continuing education training. How confident would you be if your physician told you he/she had NOT had any continuing education since graduating from medical school 20 years ago? Employers spend large budgets training and improving the skills of all their work force each year. This training is often on the skills that employees use most, on the most essential skills for their jobs and on which employees are already highly proficient.

Even Pastors are expected to attend retreats and conferences in order to gain new ideas and knowledge to improve their ministry skills.

We would like to encourage you as a married pastor to give your own marriage the gift of a Weekend – not only so you can integrate the Weekend into your congregation’s marital growth and counseling ministry, but also because your own Self Care is essential to the quality and growth of your own capacity to provide comfort and ministry.

Self Care has become a growing issue within all ministries. This focus has been driven by evidence that “helpers” help others better when their own physical needs, emotional needs, and family relationships receive tender care and are improved. Thus, your skill in your public ministry has its foundation in your skills in maintaining your private personal ministry.

God’s desire is that husbands and wives be one and that they be helpers for each other. This requires that each intimately knows each other. Commitment to growing in God’s desire for an intimate relationship is a commitment to improve communications skills.

A Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend is one opportunity for you and your spouse to sharpen your communication skills and deepen your knowledge of each other. Like a professional athlete who practices continually, constant attention to marital communication skills is needed. Spousal communications are foundations for problem solving, supporting each other in ministry, and establishing and sharing mutual goals.

A Weekend is also a unique opportunity for you and your spouse to set aside your role of Pastor and come to be cared for as a husband and wife. You will be introduced by your given names only.  There is nothing that you need to say or do for the group. There is no need for anyone to know what you or anyone else does as a profession. No one will be judging you or anyone else because of the privacy of the weekend. And we will not even ask you to lead us in prayer.

Our objective in Marriage Encounter is to renew couples in their marriages, and to renew the Church by sending renewed couples back to their congregations to be examples and serve others. We think it is essential that we support you and your spouse as well.  

Come on a Weekend because you and your spouse deserve it.