The Benefit of Worker Support Teams
Bob, a church elder, approached the pastor and DCE and asked, “Would you mind meeting with the new Worker Support Team that the congregation would like to start?” He continued, “We appreciate the two of you and don’t want to take you for granted. We want to make sure that you are supported.”
A few weeks later, that meeting occurred. Bob led the small group in prayer and an hour was spent discussing the ups and downs of ministry and life. Nobody had all of the answers, but this pastor and DCE knew that they were not standing alone; there was a specific group of members praying for, caring, and supporting them.
In Dr. Bruce Hartung’s book, Holding Up the Prophet’s Hands he writes, “Who in your congregation advocates for church workers? Who addresses their concerns? Within the Body of Christ, members care for one another. Yet if everyone in general cares for everyone in general, church workers can easily fall off the radar screen. When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.” 1
Does your congregation have a Worker Support Team? Or is everyone responsible?
In November 2012, the Michigan District Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support sponsored a conference based on Rev. Dr. Bruce M. Hartung’s book, Holding up the Prophet’s Hands. This conference helped attendees better understand the important issues in the lives of professional church workers and how congregations can support them in their people-oriented vocation. The workshop presentations can be viewed at: http://www.michigandistrict.org/events/holding-up-the-prophets-hand-workshop.
Now, that same commission would like to take you to the next level. On March 28, 2014, the Michigan District is hosting a webinar entitled “Holding up the Prophet’s Hands 202.” This webinar will help move your congregation from “everyone is responsible” to “we’re working on that.” In Holding up the Prophet’s Hands 202, Hartung will encourage existing Worker Support Teams and congregations who are interested in forming a team. There will also be extensive time for questions and answers.
By participating in this webinar, you will:
- be more aware of church worker’s needs;
- receive practical steps in setting up a team;
- receive help in overcoming obstacles; and
- have the opportunity to get your specific questions answered.
Hartung explains, “The existence of a Worker Support Team shows everyone that the congregation values its workers, their health, and their well-being. Without such a team, church workers are left to fend for themselves. They must rely on spontaneous expressions of care rather than a clear statement by the congregation that their well-being is a significant priority. In this sense, the existence of such a committee is, in itself, an expression of support.” 2
Join others on Friday, March 28, and let us help you “hold up your prophets’ hands.” Register early at http://michigandistrict.org/events/webinar-012.
 Bruce Hartung, Holding Up The Prophet’s Hands (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011), p. 101.
 Hartung, p. 104.