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Primal Care

Posted by David Manske , 18 May 2013 · 1315 views

The health of your marriage, is the health of the church, said the speaker at Exponential 2013.

Peter Scazzero was talking about ministry couples - church planting couples specifically. My mind immediately jumped into my reality. I have been a church planter, and currently work with church planting couples. I have been a long-term IW, and currently work with IWs related to our district (and some in preparation for departure).

-- Is Scazzero’s statement true?
--Is his statement valid within your context?

“Partner care,” or member care, is a primal component of partnership. Really, it is an essential and primary component of supporting, journeying alongside, our IWs. Equally important on this primal level, is strategic prayer (2 points of meaningful partnership). Please, consider this in light of the opening statement - The health of [their] marriage, is the health of the [ministry].”

-- In what ways are we meaningfully encouraging and praying for the marriage health of our ministry couples?

Admittedly, there are other factors and we cannot simplistically “blame” marriage issues for all relational conflict and unhealthy ministries. Is the ministry focused on the intended and/or receptive people group? Is the ministry true to it’s stated mission and objective? Is the ministry effectively “inclusive” or “exclusive”? What are the underlying spiritual issues of that community, people and/or culture? While these are factors, the health of the marriage must be taken into consideration.

We can use various metrics to measure the health and effectiveness of our churches, ministries and fields. However, whether we use “management by objective” or “soft metrics” -- the health of our ministry couples (and individuals) is primal!

A few creative resources:

Geri and Peter Scazzero have a new resource available. While specifically designed for women, it is being utilized by counselors and mentors of both genders. It is proving helpful for women, men and couples in a powerful way.

One church I’m following is designing specific “care groups” for each IW with whom they are partnering. This small group has one primary charge: care for the ministry couple on all fronts. Care involves communication (all forms), awareness of and care for specific needs and concerns, and informed strategic praying.

What works in your context?

  • Don Sappington and NandCard like this

Thanks, David. The statement may be a tiny exaggeration, but its value is huge. Caring about, and for, the healthy marriage of IWs is a key investment in getting the job done. And the Scazzero's material is hugely helpful to many. Many thanks to you, and to churches like the one you mention in your last paragraph, for partnering in this vital way!
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David Manske
May 24 2013 08:34 AM
Thanks, NandCard, for the observations. Yes, the statement can't be a blanket generalization, but stimulates interesting analysis. You're feedback is appreciated!
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