Harbaugh, Caring for the Caregiver

Gary L. Harbaugh, Caring for the Caregiver: Growth Models for Professional Leaders and Congregations. Alban Institute, 1992.

Referenced in: Ministry Support Systems

LifeandLeadership.Com Summary

Based on the Caring for the Caregiver survey in 1991, Harbaugh discusses seven levels of support needed for ministers: personal, familial, congregational, collegial, community (e.g. healthcare), denominational, and interdenominational. It is an older but quite helpful work for congregations in outlining the value of each of these dimensions of self-care, and the respective contributions of each level of support. It helps the minister assess how intentional one has been in consistent participation in each area of support.

From the Publisher

This book raises in a straightforward fashion the faith-related questions that the victims/survivors of natural disasters have as a result of this experience. Is the disaster an “act of God”? Did God cause the disaster? If God is all powerful, why did God allow it to happen? The author then goes on to argue that God is active in our questions, confusions, and doubts, as well as in those who help - either individually or as communities of faith. He discusses the dynamics of the caregiver/care receiver relationship from the perspective of the care receiver to provide insights into how natural disaster victims can face an uncertain future with hope and faith. A final chapter for caregivers provides help for the emotional and spiritual health of those who assist others in times of disaster. Appendices provide practical, close-to-the-ground tools.

About the Author

Gary Harbaugh is Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Care, Trinity Lutheran Seminary. He has served on the Lutheran Disaster Response Staff since 1992. Harbaugh is the author of Caring for the Caregiver, God’s Gifted People, and Covenants and Care.

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