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Seminars/Courses Offered through the Director of Missions


The following courses are available to our ministers and churches through the Director of Missions. For more information, contact CVBA office, 434-964-1165 or via email tlboschen@firstva.com

Professional Self-destruct: Understanding Clergy Fatigue
Carrying Pain: Clergy Shame
Christian Self-esteem
Aspects of Forgiveness
Families and Grief
The Well-healed Church: Understanding Congregational Health
Pre-marital Seminars
Servant Leadership: Human Power and the Kingdom of God
Shame and Guilt in the Christian Life
Islam
Destructive Religious Cults and Religious Fundamentalism
Natural Church Development
Planning
Our Pastor’s Gone: Churches in the Neutral Zone


Professional Self-destruct: Understanding Clergy Fatigue

This course examines how constant ministry to those in trauma events affects the clergy practitioner. Issues addressed in the seminar are: clergy burnout vs. compassion fatigue, self-sacrifice vs. self-denial, and other self-care issues. Clergy differ from other care providers in that clergy are frequently asked to serve the needs of the traumatized over a longer period of time than immediate care givers bringing about the possibility of professional fatigue. (2 hours)

Carrying Pain: Clergy Shame

Shame is defined as the feelings of decreased self-worth that accompany chronic put-downs originating from outside the person, usually beginning in the clergy’s family of origin. This seminar addresses the needs for ministers to understand the differences between shame and guilt and what this understanding can do to increase emotional and spiritual health. How does a rule-centered life come from shame and a grace-centered life deal with guilt? (2 hours)

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Christian Self-esteem

We will look at why some Christians have a hard time believing that Christ’s sacrifice was as much for them as anyone else. Why do some Christians not feel forgiven and how can an increase in healthy self-image impact not only how one views his/her world, but how s/he believes s/he has something to authentically contribute. (10 hours)

Aspects of Forgiveness

This seminar looks at forgiveness as a four-task process ending in reconciliation between offender and victim. We will examine what happens when either the offender or victim does not want to participate in the process and what this means for moving beyond the offense to emotional and spiritual health. Since family-of-origin issues affect our understanding of forgiveness, we will examine them as well. (10 hours)

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Families and Grief

We will look at the dynamic that shape grief in family units. Are there specific behaviors and attitudes that shape how families deal with loss? No one grieves in a family vacuum. (2 hours)

The Well-healed Church: Understanding Congregational Health

What we will examine in this seminar is the belief that any congregation of any type is an emotional system in which every human emotion is shared and released. It is in comprehending the church as such a system that genuine healing can take place once conflict and dysfunction have entered and damaged the church family. Understanding the church as a system can also lead to preventing congregational illness caused by conflict and dysfunction. If the church is the Body of Christ, what does that mean in terms of church health? (10 hours)

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Pre-marital Seminars

These four two-hour seminars are designed to accomplish three goals:
1) to help the couple make an informed decision on whether or not to marry;
2) if they have decided to marry, to help them build a strong healthy relationship;
3) if they have already married, to help the couple stay that way.
We examine power sharing, communication, expectations and roles, and family-of-origin issues in a Biblical context. (8 hours)

Servant Leadership: Human Power and the Kingdom of God

The goal of this course is to help church leaders understand their place in the church as servant-leaders, that is, persons who lead by the example of their own gifts and skills at work in the life of the church. (2 hours)

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Shame and Guilt in the Christian Life

Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. On these things hang all the law and the prophets." A person from a shame-based system will have trouble doing this. Frequently in the life of a shamed person, love is displaced by the intra-personal need to appear "good," that is, worthy. When one is trying to work out one’s worthiness by following the directive dictates of another (clergy or laity), one can hardly be expected to love others as one’s self. For the shame-bound believer, the Biblical statement, "We are saved by grace through faith," becomes, "I am saved by earned worthiness through my works." Said another way, the shame-bound believer is always asking the question, "What must I do to be worthy?", not "What must I do to be saved?" (10 hours)

Islam

This course is an introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Muslim religion. (2 hours)

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Destructive Religious Cults and Religious Fundamentalism

This seminar will delineate the similarities and dangers of, what have come to be called, "cults," and fundamentalism. Both terms will be defined as objectively as possible. The goal of the seminar is to help students understand that there is something we can call toxic religion. (10 hours)

Natural Church Development

This assessment tool is available to the churches of the association. The DoM is trained to administer and score the assessment, and to carry the congregation through the interpretation process as a coach. The NCD will give the church a fairly complete picture of itself on eight different scales of strength and weakness. (Time is undetermined based on the needs of the congregation.)

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Planning

Long-term strategic planning can help churches find renewed focus and energy. This program of planning involves congregational self-assessment, a look at congregational history, identity formation, conflict resolution skills, determining the church’s call, and the strategies to answer the call.

Our Pastor’s Gone: Churches in the Neutral Zone

This is a practical written document to help churches in the transition from one pastor to the next. The interim period can be a wonderful time of discovery and renewal as well as a time of grieving and longing. The skills and resources needed for this daunting task are discussed in this booklet. The Director of Missions is available to walk the congregation through the text and through the transition period.

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