Christian Wellness: Abstract & Contents


CHRISTIAN WELLNESS FOR LUTHERAN CHURCH-CANADA PASTORS

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Divinity

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By James Robert Paulgaard

Permission is hereby granted to CONCORDIA LUTHERAN SEMINARY LIBRARY to reproduce single copies of this research paper and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only.

The author reserves other publication rights, and neither the research paper nor extensive extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author’s written permission.

Date:  May 9, 2003

ABSTRACT

Concern over the high incidence of burnout among Lutheran pastors has led to a consideration of wellness as a potential approach for improving pastoral health and well-being.  This thesis evaluates the merits of such a wellness approach toward improving the well-being and health of pastors.  Chapter one investigates the nature of wellness as defined by the wellness movement and studies the nature and value of Christian wellness.  Chapter two examines the various factors that work together to draw pastors away from Christian wellness.  Among these factors are the pastor’s personality, the stress-filled nature of ministry, inexperience, financial stress, living in a parsonage and unresolved psychological issues.  Chapter three explores processes for restoring, maintaining and living Christian wellness.  This thesis finds that there is a very significant link between burnout and wellness and suggests that a Christian wellness approach offers great potential for improving the health and well-being of the pastors of Lutheran Church-Canada.

iii

ABBREVIATIONS

NASB             New American Standard Bible (1995)

NKJ                 New King James

All scriptural quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible unless otherwise specified.

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER ONE:  What is a Christian Understanding of Wellness and Why is Christian Wellness Important?

  • Introduction: Why Wellness?
  • Methodology
  • Burnout Results and Defining Burnout
  • The Link Between Wellness and Burnout
  • What is Wellness?
    • A Secular Definition
    • A Christian Definition
      • Different Motivation and Goals
      • Scriptural Understandings of Humanity and Wellness
      • A Christian Definition of Wellness
  • Conclusion

CHAPTER TWO:  What is Contributing to a Lack of Wellness Among LCC Pastors?

  • Introduction
  • The Pastoral Personality
  • The Nature of Ministry
  • The Interaction of the Pastoral Personality with the Stressful Nature of Ministry
  • Pastors at Risk
    • Inexperienced Pastors
    • Stress in the Transition From Seminary to the Parish and in the First Few Years of Ministry
    • Financial Stress
    • The Struggle to Maintain a Balance between Work and Family
    • Pastors With Unresolved Psychological Issues
  • Pastors Struggling Under the Law
  • A Biblical Example of a Lack of Wellness:  Elijah in 1 Kings 19
  • Conclusion

CHAPTER THREE: Restoring and Living in Christian Wellness

  • Introduction
  • Dealing with Denial
  • The Gospel for Pastors
  • A Scriptural Process for Restoring and Maintaining Wellness:  1 Kings 19
  • Keys for Christian Wellness
  • Relationship
  • Empathic Love
  • Truth
  • Forgiveness
  • The On-going Need for Relationship, Empathic Love, Truth and Forgiveness
  • Jesus as Our Model for Wellness
  • Living in Wellness
  • Ideas for Practicing Wellness
  • Spiritual Wellness
  • Physical Wellness
  • Emotional Wellness
  • Social Wellness
  • Vocational Wellness
  • Intellectual Wellness
  • Financial Wellness
  • Conclusion

CONCLUSION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

APPENDIX A – SURVEY DOCUMENTS

APPENDIX B – SURVEY RESULTS

APPENDIX C – RESULTS OF HYPOTHESIS TESTING

APPENDIX D – PASTORAL WELLNESS SELF-TEST

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