Healthy Marriages = Healthy Staff

Jim and Jerolyn Bogear are trusted friends, who have planted, led, and worked with churches, and now focus on raising up healthy relationships, marriages, and teams. Check out their website! As guest writers today, their post will offer you great practical thoughts and resources! Their book, Faith Legacy for Couples, is one of those great resources.

We all understand the tension between cultivating healthy relationships and producing expected results.

These two are not mutually exclusive, but it does take great intentionality to experience great family and great work results simultaneously.

Far too often, we default to results.

Results matter. Patrick Lencioni writes about results as part of a healthy team. But these results and productivity clearly come from healthy people.

Healthy relationships need to be a priority for church staff and leaders.

Research, and our work through Legacy C3 in the local church as well as the corporate marketplace, confirm that if things are not going well at home, it clearly affects us at work.

If your marriage is straining or your kids are struggling, or crisis hits your family, it directly affects all the areas of your life. Pressures at home are not compartmentalized; they directly affect all areas of our lives. We need to care for our own relationships, and for those we lead.

Here’s a practical game plan for you:

1) Create an environment for honest conversations.

All healthy relationships, especially marriages, are based on open, honest and consistent communication. It’s amazing how much relational conflict can be resolved if people will just talk.

But as you know, that’s not always easy, especially at work. The staff is often concerned about what others might think, or how the boss might respond.

So, it’s important to create a professional environment that is a safe place for honest conversations. That means people don’t get labeled, cut off, gossiped about, or fired just because they open up about personal concerns.

2) Model the way.

As the leader, talk openly about your marriage relationship. Share the practical things you do to keep your relationship fresh, alive and healthy. Give examples of what works for you such as a weekly date night, praying together, or favorite family traditions.

Invite staff couples to your home for some hang time with you. Your time may be very limited for that, but what you can do will be worth the effort.

Talk about struggles too. Obviously, maintain an appropriate level of discretion, but be honest about the tougher times. Let your staff know how you came through those times, perhaps you and your spouse saw a counselor for a season.

The point is to make all this normal, not stuff that is part of ‘hushed hallway” conversations.

3) Coaching makes a difference.

Coaching your team helps each person establish goals, take ownership, and be held accountable. Ask the right questions to help your leaders express and put into action their goals for their life as well as their work.

Daniel Harkavy’s book, Becoming a Coaching Leader is a terrific resource to learn how to be a great coach.

Recently a senior leader reached out asking for our time to coach the marriages of his staff. This leader stated, “I need this personally and want to be a student along with my team members. I want to not only provide this for the team, but for my wife and I too.

4) Invest in your staff relationships.

Churches that experience the best and healthiest marriage relationships amongst their staff are those that invest in them.

Here are a few good examples:

  • Provide marriage counseling by paying for a set number of sessions by a professional and licensed therapist.
  • Provide childcare for a date night for your staff.
  • Organize a couple’s retreat, or provide financially for a retreat or seminar your staff can attend.
  • Bring in a counselor or expert on the subject to talk with your staff.
  • Create fun times for the family such as a Christmas party or staff picnic.

Great churches invest their staff’s relationships. 

Want a healthy, thriving church? Make sure your staff’s personal relationships are healthy and thriving.

4 thoughts on “Healthy Marriages = Healthy Staff”

  1. Great post! I am very passionate about this subject and can personally attest to the value of praying together with your spouse and having a weekly date. My wife and I have been married for almost 33 years. It took us several years to figure it out in the beginning but we finally realized that even though we both grew up in Christian homes and were both children of ministers, a great marriage was not just going to happen. We had to make an intentional decision to do the work necessary to have a great marriage. And, we keep learning. About a year ago, we decided to start praying together once or twice a week in addition to our own personal quiet times, now we have increased that to 3 times a week and it is such a great experience, that has brought us even closer together; for several years we have set aside Saturday afternoon as a lunch date and this has become a time that both of us protect and cherish. Great, great stuff right here. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jim & Jerolyn Bogear

      Thanks Eddie. So true we have to make marriage a priority. We have often said, “Marriage works when you work at marriage.” Congrats on 33 years and thanks again for commenting!

  2. Another excellent resource and how I found it.
    I lost my wife of 38 years in April, 2013. There were a number of God things in the timing including the fact that 2 days before the stroke that led to her death it was confirmed that she had a fatal genetic disorder that would have resulted in her death within about a year. When she told me it had been confirmed she said, “I’ll probably die of something else first.” I think God told her that.
    Like my brother who lost his wife several years earlier, I knew I wanted to remarry. A few months after her death, God, as clearly as if He had been talking out loud, told me one of the widows in our church that I was interested in would be my second wife but it would be a long process–still going on. That was the first time I heard God speak like that. It’s happened once since when He gave me a new ministry related to turning the American Church around from decline to growth. When He gave that new ministry to me I felt a lot like Moses at the burning bush.
    I think it was the 2014 North American Christian Convention where I saw a booth with CDs from a “Family Apps” sermon series. Three of them were especially related to marriage and I picked them up thinking I might learn something. (My wife and I had a good marriage but like most there was room for improvement.) After listening to them, I thought they were so good that I gave a copy to a friend that does a lot of pastoral type counseling. She thought they were so good that she wanted a dozen more copies.
    At the North American, last summer, I learned that the entire “Family Apps” sermon series is on Vimeo at
    I haven’t played all of them but the content of the ones I’ve played is excellent. However, the video is nothing to brag about.
    God Bless you,

    1. Jim & Jerolyn Bogear

      Thank you Bruce for sharing. Many wonderful resources to help us grow. You are correct in that no matter how good we believe we are, we should be growing and learning. We must become better, stronger, and deeper in our relationships for living, leaving, and leading a legacy.

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