Objective 2: Apply the discipline of marriage enhancement counseling to your pastoral ministry.
“Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to do anything. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love – because it’s happening to you. Sustaining love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll never just happen to you. You can’t ‘find’ lasting love. You have to “make” it day in and day out. That’s why we have the expression ‘the labor of love’. It takes time, effort, energy, and most importantly, it takes wisdom” (Fertel. 2008). The pastor plays a key role in the lives of those he/she serves in the area of marriage enhancement and counseling. It is imperative that you have a basic understanding of Christian principles related to marriage and the family. You will have many opportunities to provide marriage enhancement through pastoral counseling and your ministry. The following learning activity is designed to provide insight in the area of marriage enhancement counseling.
- Learning Activity #4: Counseling Exercise
Interview two (2) pastors relating to marriage enhancement counseling and the ministry. Take careful notes during the interview, and ensure that the same issues are covered in each one.
Based on the results of the interviews, write 4-6 paragraphs as to the insights you gained from the interviews. Also create a chart that compares and contrasts the responses from each interview.
Post the paper and chart to your facilitator in the drop box entitled Counseling Exercise. Responses are not expected to be formatted in the APA style unless otherwise noted from your facilitator; however, citations should be presented in APA format.
Objective 3: Apply the discipline of grief counseling to your pastoral ministry.
“How individuals and families cope with dying, death, grief, loss, and bereavement is as unique as a fingerprint. The response to the death of a family member, relative, or close friend places one in the category of “bereaved.” Those who are bereaved experience grief, a person’s response or reaction to loss, which encompasses physical, psychological, social, and spiritual components. How one copes with other life events and adapts to one’s present and future is also part of the grieving process” (Encyclopedia on Death and Dying, 2008). The pastor has a unique position in relation to grief counseling. The people you serve are looking to you for answers, comfort, and support. People deal with grief in different ways, we live in a culture that is used to having immediate gratification, the grief process does not work that way, and the pastor needs to be prepared and equipped in the area of grief counseling. The following learning activity is designed to provide insight in the area of grief counseling.
- Learning Activity #5: Grief Counseling Discussion
Continuing your research and reading, focus on the topic for grief counseling. Create a resource guide of at least ten references that you found useful for grief recovery skills, counseling techniques, etc.
Provide a very short description of what content the reference provides, and ensure that the reference is represented in APA format.
Also answer the following questions.
- What new learning did you discover relating to grief counseling?
- How will an understanding of grief counseling benefit you as a pastor or in general ministry?
- How can these new concepts be applied to ministry practice?
Post your resource guide and response in the discussion forum entitled Grief Counseling Discussion.