What is a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop? (MTWW)
Your church/school staff works hard together in pursuit of your mission strategies and goals. A MTWW is a chance for you to Reflect upon the key elements of a healthy team ministry, Renew your commitment to service together with one another and Re-invigorate for the challenging task of team ministry in the Lord’s kingdom.
Patterned after the Congregational Wellness Weekend, the MTWW leads your ministry team in a conversation about how critical unity among the Lord’s disciples is to productive ministry. The strain of team ministry in close proximity with others can be very intense. Many ministries operate with very limited resources. We are constantly on guard against the assaults of the devil, who seeks to destroy the harmony we so greatly crave. A MTWW is an opportunity for your staff to come together around the good news of Christ’s healing care.
Your team will consider the healthy practices that lead to unity, mutual care and support, and the practices that lead to spiritual, physical, emotional and vocational wellbeing. The event will focus especially on the keys to open communication, building trust with one another and experiencing the healing touch of Jesus as we move past the hurts and offenses that are a natural part of ministry in a fallen world.
Who attends a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop?
Staff led congregations will typically gather with all paid staff. Schools will naturally invite all faculty and administration to attend. Where appropriate, key lay leaders in the congregational setting might also be invited to attend, such as school board members, congregational president, etc.
Basically, those who work together in ministry in the closest relationships will benefit from the MTWW.
For lay led congregations, those whose ministry is guided by a Church Council and elected ministry boards, we recommend the Congregational Wellness Weekend.
What happens at a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop?
The MTWW is usually conducted by our Program Director, the Rev. Dr. Darrell Zimmerman. Darrell brings his 30 years of experience in ministry as a parish pastor and his long history with Grace Place to your church to facilitate an interactive discussion of the concepts of wellness taught in the Scriptures. Using the model of The Lutheran Wellness Wheel developed by the LCMS Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support, you will examine together the basics of baptismal, spiritual, intellectual, relational, emotional, vocational, physical and financial health and how you can grow in each of these areas.
Darrell will begin each of eight sessions with a time of teaching and instruction and then turn it over to you for discussion in your groups with a focus on how you might apply the principles of ministry team health in your setting. Your time together is interspersed with times of devotion and prayer that set the tone for the day.
Is there a typical schedule for the Wellness Workshop?
The most common formats for the MTWW are a one-day workshop that runs from 8:30-3:30, or a workshop split over two days, often an afternoon session followed by a morning session the next day.
The core material of the MTWW comprises anywhere from 8-12 contact hours of process time. The focus and length of the workshop can be customized to your team’s particular needs.
What are the outcomes we can expect from a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop?
Our objective is that your ministry team will grow in your understanding of the biblical teaching on wellness. We hope also that you will learn to apply the specific skills that are taught in the workshop, skills in spiritual growth, communication, conflict management and physical health. Grace Place Wellness hopes that the experience you share together at the MTWW will help your staff grow closer to becoming the high performance team that God intends you to be as you learn to live and serve together in love and care, mutual support and forgiveness.
How do we prepare for the Wellness Workshop?
The retreat leader from Grace Place will contact your leadership for two special activities to prepare you for the best experience. The first is a conversation with the administrator of your team to do a Pre-Retreat Assessment. Our hope is to get to know your ministry as best we can before the retreat, to understand your history, your community and the special joys and challenges you are currently facing as well as past blessings and anxieties that have shaped your ministry. We want to know about any significant changes in staff or ministry undertakings, financial challenges, building programs, innovative new ministries and the like so that we can address your particular needs at the retreat.
The second activity is a telephone conference call Pre-Retreat Orientation with as many participants as possible some weeks before the retreat that will help us “hit the ground running” when we meet. This is usually conducted at a staff meeting, so that those attending will have an idea of what the Wellness Workshop is all about. It’s possible to have this conversation with more than one group if necessary.
Where is the Ministry Team Wellness Workshop held?
In order to save expense, the Wellness Workshop is usually held at your place of ministry. Our staff will gladly work with you to hold the retreat at any suitable conference center or retreat facility of your choosing if that is more desirable!
What resources are available for follow-up after the Wellness Workshop?
Two resources have been prepared for your use after the retreat.
The first is a daily devotional guide for use by all participants at the Wellness Workshop called “Forty Days toward Ministry Team Health.” It is a verse by verse reflection on Ephesians chapter 4 designed to continue and reinforce the topics covered at the retreat. We hope it will stimulate more conversations about creating a healthy environment for ministry.
The second is a twenty-four month series of devotional reflections designed for staff meetings based on the twenty-four markers of wellness discussed at the workshop. These devotions are designed for opening ministry team meetings, but could also be used for a series of eight week Bible studies, or any number of ways.
What is the cost of a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop?
Most congregational based ministries can host a MTWW for under $1800.
The costs are limited to a program fee ($800 for congregational based ministries, $1200 for agencies or institutions), travel and lodging actual cost for the presenter and a materials and printing fee of $10 per participant. In a congregational setting, Rev. Zimmerman is available to preach and teach Bible class for the congregation’s usual honorarium. Grace Place Wellness also encourages that meals and refreshments be provided on-site so we can make the best use of our time on the scheduled workshop days.
How can we receive more information?
A packet of information, including a rough estimate of costs, can be ordered by contacting Beth McAnallen in the Grace Place Wellness office, or by calling 314-842-3077. You can find downloads of some of these materials on our website.