Geneva Benefits Group is introducing a new counseling and wellbeing benefit for staff members of PCA churches. Through a strategic partnership with the Full Strength Network, ministry staff will have access to Christian counseling, coaching sessions, and wellness resources for a small monthly fee. The fee covers the ministry staff member as well as their spouse and dependents (ages 13-17). This benefit provides a way for staff members and their families to access support needed to thrive in ministry.
Last year, Geneva concluded a year-long research project to assess the wellbeing of PCA pastors. Geneva surveyed nearly 900 PCA pastors to get a snapshot into their current state of wellbeing and conducted 16 in-depth focus groups to gain insight into the practices, conditions, and choices that promote and hinder wellbeing. The research found that pastors wrestle with a series of ministry tensions that pull them between healthy and unhealthy approaches to life and ministry. Pastors reported that the struggles of ministry are very real, often hidden, and quite unique.
“Cherish provided me with a counselor who could bring the gospel to me afresh and help me apply it to my present situation. I was able to talk about my marriage, my children and my pain from ministry without fear of judgment. My counselor helped me to see Jesus caring for me, in the midst of my storm.” – Cherish Recipient
As one pastor shared, “It feels like it’s a matter of time before something tragic happens or I go out of ministry. It feels like half the ministers that I’ve ever known or half the people I went to seminary with are out, whether that’s a moral failure or they just got burned out or they were just done … And I want to know, do I have the longevity for this? Do I have the resilience for it? Because it doesn’t seem like most do.”
A growing number of pastors and their spouses have accessed the subsidized counseling services. Church leaders need and desire a simple way to make sure their ministry staff have access to professional Christian counseling in order to improve their pastoral health.
Now, with this new counseling and wellbeing benefit, churches can provide full-time ministry staff and their spouse with access to the following:
- Up to 12 sessions of professional and confidential counseling and/or coaching, both virtual and in person
- Access to hundreds of Christian counselors, including counselors with the Global Counseling Network
- On demand wellbeing tools and content
- Participation in cohorts with ministry peers
All of this can be made available to staff members at PCA churches for $15 per month.
“At Geneva, most of our staff have worked in the context of the local church and are familiar with its unique dynamics,” says Chet Lilly, Vice President of Operations. “We have listened to church leaders who want to provide their staff and spouses with a more robust wellbeing benefit and believe this strategic partnership is a simple and economical solution that will benefit churches in countless ways.”
The Relief Fund’s Cherish program will continue to offer wives of PCA pastors access to affordable and confidential Christian counseling. Through Cherish, pastors’ wives can access up to 7 subsidized counseling sessions per year. Although the program is not changing, wives of PCA pastors are encouraged to explore whether Geneva’s new counseling and wellbeing benefit can better serve them and their families through the reduced cost structure and increased sessions.
To get started and learn more, contact the Geneva team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Geneva Benefits Group serves those who serve others, providing practical support for the financial, physical, and mental wellbeing of people who work in full-time ministry.