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Chris Schaffner

Chris is a CADC certified counselor working with chemically dependent persons and those with co-occurring disorders. Chris has worked in the field for 7 years and has worked with children and teens for over 15 years. Chris is also the coordinator for The Shelter, a ministry of Group Publishing that provides support to children’s and youth workers from around the world. He has worked with individuals of all ages who struggle with addiction, abuse histories, self injury, depression and suicide. Chris has provided training locally on suicide assessment and on working with the LGBTQ population. Chris provides training at SYMC, KidMin, UYWI, Operation Snowball events, Chicago HOPES and Access Living, CCDA Annual Conference, OtraOnda Dimension Juvenil Conference, has taught parenting and Anger Management classes, and teaches a community-based series called ‘Coping With…” that equips adolescent with life management skills. Chris lives in Central Illinois and is married to Trudy. They have 4 kids; Blake, Charley Grace, and the twins Claire and Chloe.

This happens more often than not in ministry and we can justify it by claiming we are doing “God’s work” or “Kingdom work”.  But too often those we love most sit home while we “run the race set before us”.  Christians are divorcing at a rate comparable to non-Christians, and I think neglect is one of the bigger offenders.  Here’s a quick checklist to see if you are in danger of taking your spouse (if you’re married in ministry) for granted.

  • Do you spend more time on work, ministry, trips, camps, and the youth than you do alone with your spouse?
  • Do you spend non-quality time with your spouse feeling either bored or stressed?
  • Do you share your feelings, thoughts, and dreams more easily and more openly with friends, colleagues, students and strangers at conferences than you do with your spouse?
  • Do you view going home as something you have to do between ministry gatherings and meetings, not something you look forward to?
  • Do you seldom make an effort to look your best when you are with your spouse?
  • Do you seldom play or spend spontaneous time together?
  • Do you say more negative comments to your spouse than warm, loving ones?
  • Do you treat your mate more like a roommate or “friend with benefits” than a loving partner?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you may need to take a serious look at the lack of balance in your life.  Ministry demands a lot from us but it should never come at the expense of those closest to us.

Chris / @conversefringe

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