Latest from the Wayne Oates Institute
Imagining the Congregational Care Network
If your congregation is like many, pastoral care is at the heart of its sense of being a caring community. If you are like many, pastoral care needs are increasing as members live longer and the congregation’s median age increases. The needs of younger families are also increasing in the midst of job losses, marriage breakdowns, concerns for children, and the concerns for aging parents that entangle so many. And if you are among the congregations where member families have been caught up in the wars of the last decade, you are no doubt experiencing increased pastoral care needs among veterans and their family members.
- Published: 21 March 2013
Introduction to Congregational Care
What we do at the Wayne Oates Institute is really all about need. We work with people who respond to the needs of other people, and we respond to the needs of those folks by providing educational opportunities to hone skills and learn new approaches to ministry and the provision of care. The Congregational Care Network is one of the avenues where we do this and the Introduction to the Ministry of Congregational Care is one of the new core classes offered as part of this Network.
- Published: 21 March 2013
Applying Solution Focused Therapy to a Military Service Member
A Brief Case Study: Joe, 26, is a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army having joined the military at the age of 19. Three months ago he returned home from his second deployment overseas within a four year period of time. Most recently he served in Afghanistan as an infantry soldier with his first tour being in Iraq. During his seven year career, Joe has been transferred to three bases. Joe has been married for the last six years to his high school sweetheart and together they have two children ages four and two. Joe has been an excellent father and an attentive husband until recently when he started experiencing nightmares and a change in his personality became noticeable. A once fun-loving and easy-going person, Joe has been viewed most recently as tense, edgy, and arguing with his family. He has not been an active father or husband for the past three weeks. Though going to work, he has been speaking negatively of his fellow soldiers, something that has never happened before. Joe’s commander has noticed these differences and has asked him to attend counseling. Fearful that his career is in jeopardy, Joe confides to his wife the recent problems he has been experiencing. Together they seek out a counselor and come to you.
- Published: 11 March 2013
Positive Deviance and Spiritual Care Research
When I met with my surgical oncologist in October one of the things he said to me was, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. It is working.” He went on to add that a number of people that share my particular type of cancer, live well and much longer than expected without other medical interventions. So what are they doing that is different? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know.
- Published: 07 March 2013
Registration is Open for April Seminars
Spring is almost here! And with it comes the first group of spring online seminars at the Oates Institute. This is an exciting lineup of seminars with topics ranging from Coping with Anxiety to Family Systems to Helping Children Grieve to the Power to Bless. The seminars will run April 8-26, with each offer 12 contact hours of continuing education credit for chaplains, counselors, social workers, and pastors. It is a great time and opportunity to participate in continuing education from wherever you are according to your schedule.
- Published: 06 March 2013
Register by April 3 for April Seminars
Wednesday, April 3 is the last day to register for the first group of spring online seminars at the Oates Institute. This is an exciting lineup of seminars with topics ranging from Coping with Anxiety to Family Systems to the Power to Bless. The seminars will run April 8-26, with each offer 12 contact hours of continuing education credit for chaplains, counselors, social workers, and pastors. It is a great time and opportunity to participate in continuing education from wherever you are according to your schedule.
- Published: 06 March 2013
Breathe in the Breath of Life
I often leave this large inner city hospital with stale air trapped like a puddle in a pothole in the bottom of my lungs. I try to take deep breaths as I walk to my car in an attempt to dislodge that laden air and replace it with light fresh air. I say what I was taught to say to the cancer survivors who seek a new way to handle stress, “Breathe in the breath of life, breathe out all anxiety.”
- Published: 01 March 2013
Organizational Science and Gospel in Church Leadership
In a conversation with a colleague last week, I heard myself voice my usual critique of the Presbyterian church’s reliance on the corporate, hierarchical structures of “scientific management.” I trace the trajectory of the current administration of the denomination to the move from offices in New York and Atlanta at the time of the reunion between the two branches that had split at the time of the Civil War. When the new office was established in Louisville in 1987, a consultant from the secular, corporate world was named executive director. That person’s strong Presbyterian identity aside, his appointment was a shift from a long-time practice of hiring people with track records in ministerial leadership. Not for the first time, I should add, was secular organizational culture applied to church organizational design.
- Published: 22 February 2013