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A New Chapter in Congregational Care: How Mt. Calvary Built a Supportive Church Community


Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church and Preschool in Huron, S.D., contacted Grace Place Wellness in 2022 with an invitation to do a congregational wellness weekend. On a cold and blustery weekend in February 2023, after meeting for two days with the pastoral staff and lay leaders and exploring the Lutheran Wellness Wheel, the congregation began to see opportunities to improve the overall well-being of their workers and the shared ministry together.  

Grace Place is part of the Ministry Solutions team at Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF). Where other parts of our team assist  with strategic planning, buildings and funding, Grace Place is focused on helping church workers reclaim the joy in ministry. However, we have learned that this cannot be done in a vacuum. In other words, for true wellness in ministry to happen, it takes partnerships to really make it work. When church workers and lay members of the ministry are working side by side, supporting and encouraging one another, it provides for a happier, healthier ministry. 

In April 2024, an elder at Mt. Calvary contacted Grace Place seeking help to begin building a church worker support team to better care for the church and preschool staff members. The elders wanted to provide a healthy support system and needed a framework to do so. 

Grace Place took the board of elders through a step-by-step process to begin a new chapter in their care for their church workers. While the process has really just begun, the congregational desire to intentionally provide care for their workers will go a long way in providing both a healthy work environment, but also a more productive and happier ministry.  

Church worker support teams are a small group of men and women within a ministry designed to serve as advocates for the church workers in a ministry. Most every ministry has a few people who could fill this role. These are people who understand and value the church workers and their needs. These are people who will pray for the church worker and family members, who encourage them, listen to them in a non-judgmental way, and who can help lay leadership be more sensitive to providing for their called church workers.  

Care for church workers has changed over the past decade. The expectations placed on church workers, either by the ministry or even by themselves, have continued to increase. Many church workers battle burnout for a variety of reasons, some professional, some personal. Many church workers are reticent to share their frustrations or concerns in fear of being viewed as complaining or being dissatisfied. Often these church workers just want to be heard. A church worker support team can become a trusted team of advocates who facilitate good communication between the laity and the church workers.  

If you would like to know more about building a church worker support team in your ministry, contact Grace Place.  We are your ministry resource and are here to help you build stronger partnerships for healthier ministry where God has placed you.

Reach out to Greg.Walton@lcef.org to create a customized plan for your ministry today.