Leaders Assessment and Consultation

The pressures of vocational ministry are great and may negatively impact the minister, his/her marriage, and other relationships. A survey done of ministers by Fuller Institute of Church Growth showed the following:

  • • 90% work well over 50 hours per week
  • • 51% said that they felt they were unable to meet the demands of the job
  • • 82% believed that the ministry had negatively impacted their family life
  • • 92% said that the were inadequately trained to cope with ministry demands
  • • 53% averaged 5-6 hours of sleep per night
  • • 85% spent less than two evenings a week at home with their families
  • • 43% do not take a regular day off
  • • 73% have no close or intimate friendships outside their marriage

The Mission

For pastors and lay leaders who are in need of personal, professional or relationship assistance, the “Leader Assessment and Consultation teams” provide personal, marital, relationship, ministry and organizational assessment with a plan for restoration and growth involving the development and provision of the necessary interventions and supports to insure success.

The Method

Leader Assessment and Consultation combines research validated tools and methods from clinical and counseling psychology, executive coaching, team building, spiritual assessment and consultation, spiritual direction, Ministry assessment and consultation, and counseling and psychotherapy. Referrals come to us from denominational and ministry network entities, individual churches, colleagues and family members. Rarely do individuals in need self refer. The issues involved in referral include burnout, compassion fatigue, moral failure, at risk for moral failure, criminal activity, loss of vision and drive, disappointment, and the perception that God’s will and call for the individual or church exceeds what is currently being accomplished.

The Consultation begins with the initial phone or email contact. Sufficient information is acquired to conceptualize the assessment. A 3 day Intensive Assessment/Consultation is scheduled and staffed with the team that is deemed most appropriate for the situation. We have served individuals, couples, and entire ministry teams and their spouses with Intensive Assessment and Consultation services and follow up consultation. Participants complete a personal/relationship and ministry history and several personal and relationship tests prior to arrival.

The Intensive Assessment and Consultation is designed to assess what is happening in the leader’s life, develop a plan for restoration and take the first steps down a path of healing and wholeness. The initial assessment/consultation is a 15 hour process conducted in 3 days in our offices in Virginia Beach, Virginia. on site at Eden Counseling Center. It consists of:

1. Extensive evaluation including several validated tests
a. Personality assessment
b. Psycho-social assessment
c. Spiritual life assessment
d. Organizational assessment
e. If spouse is a part of this a “marriage assessment”

2. An individualized plan that may include a number of components
1. Individual counseling/consultation/coaching
2. Spiritual direction
3. Marital counseling/consultation/coaching
4. Team consultation
5. Executive coaching

3. Follow-up plans and assessment with the availability of additional Intensive Consultations as needed. Appropriate accountability is established within the family, church, denomination or social network.

The Team

• Paul H. Van Valin, Ph.D.
• Licensed Clinical Psychologist
• President, Eden Counseling Ministries and Eden Family Institute
• Team Leader, Psychological Assessments, Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation, Organizational Assessment and Consultation, Executive Coaching

• Becky S. Van Valin, MSW
• Licensed Clinical Social Worker
• Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation

• Rev. David Martin, MEd, CAS
• Executive Director for The Center for Leadership Integrity & Restoration.
• Spiritual and Ministry Assessment and Consultation
• Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation
• Leadership Coaching

• Rev. James Cheshire, DMin, MSW
• Licensed Clinical Social Worker
• Individual and Marital Assessment and Consultation

• Sandra Border, MSW
• Licensed Social Worker
• Addiction Specialist
• Individual Assessment and Consultation

• Christopher Doriani, MSW
• Licensed Clinical Social Worker
• Individual Assessment and Consultation
• Trauma Specialist

• Rev. John Kimball, DMin
• Spiritual and Ministry Assessment and Consultation

Case Study

A young pastor with great promise planted a church. During the fourth year of ministry, his son is sexually molested concurrent with growing dissatisfaction and criticism from his lay leaders. The pastor and his family are facing multiple crises. He crosses professional boundaries with a woman in his church and must leave the ministry and return to the home of his youth to receive family and social support for recovery and restoration. He remained in secular employment for a over a year while Eden Counseling Ministries provided assessment, counseling and coaching, and ongoing accountability and leadership development. Concurrently he was involved in the Pastors in Residence program and became active in a local church. His character has been appropriately shaped and groomed for Godly humility by the losses and growth experiences in his life. His marriage and children are flourishing. The young pastor reconciled with leaders with whom he had become estranged through a number of poor decisions. He presently holds a ministry position in an academic institution and maintains an accountability/support network with local, mature leaders. Our team has been involved with this family for 2 years with ongoing consultation.