Presenter Topics – Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil

  • DOXOLOGY Executive Director for Spiritual Care
  • Waukesha, WI

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Pastoral Care and Sex (3 hours)

(Note: choose three of the five sessions listed)

These presentations facilitate fraternal discussion of faithful teaching and pastoral care in the important area of sex and marriage for our turbulent times. The US Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage in its landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision has increased the havoc and uncertainty in both society and church. Transgender activists push the boundaries of what it means to be male and female. How are pastors to navigate these unprecedented waters with confidence and faithfulness? How are we to teach and model sexual purity and faithfulness to young and old in a world increasingly fixated on sexual indulgence and self-gratification?

  • Session One  “Male and Female made He Them: Man and Woman in God’s Image”

Sex is by God’s express design and will; in Eden man and woman in their created being reflected the perfect union and harmony within the Godhead and in their bodily union served jointly as His regents over His perfect creation. As decadence and immorality become the norm, our privilege is to uphold and exhibit the beauty of sexual fidelity and chastity.

  • Session Two  “What is Marriage? The Natural View and the Christological Vision”

In our present confusion we must teach, model, and uphold the comprehensive union of man and woman in mind and body as foundational to marriage in the natural order and central to its role as a holy estate, the earthly image of the union between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the church.

  • Session Three  “In Holiness and Honor: Pornography, Sexual Addiction, and Recovery”

All sexual sin defiles the body, the temple of God’s Spirit and desecrates God’s holiness. Pornography is especially degrading since it leads to compulsive obsession and addiction to self-gratification, calling for comprehensive physical, psychological, and spiritual treatment. We must gain confidence and competence as spiritual physicians to all embodied souls who have been defiled and wounded by sexual obsessions.

  • Session Four  “Temple or Tool? Tortured Souls and Body Dysphoria”

The rapid rise of transgenderism is symptomatic of a world divorced from its creator, with people alienated from their own bodies. We must provide discernment, compassion, and intervention for such individuals not merely on the cognitive, but the spiritual level coupled with intentional treatment using baptismal therapy.

  • Session Five  “Washed, Sanctified, Justified: Sexual Sin and the Cure of Souls”

Pastors are not moral policemen or therapists, but seelsorgers. Sexual sin is far beyond a moral issue. Rather, these sins are a serious spiritual dysfunction and temptation to misbelief and idolatry, calling for accurate diagnosis and intentional treatment to broken sinners using the tools of soul care.

Lutheran Identity and Mission in a Chaotic World (3 hours)

A world of change and chaos presents both challenge and opportunity for faithful outreach and pastoral care.  Late modernity and late antiquity have much in common when it comes to the mission of the Holy Christian Church. Our privilege is to use the strengths of our Lutheran confession of the faith once delivered to the saints to engage a culture seemingly intent on deconstructing order and human integrity, utilizing these strengths for vigorous evangelization and care of souls in an increasingly inhuman environment.

  • Session One  “For Such a Time as This”

In order to faithfully engage our world, we need to understand its context. It’s helpful to gain historical perspective on the major shifts in world view over the centuries and especially to grasp the confluence of the influences and their spiritual impact on people who live in what has been labeled a “post Christian” society in the West.

  • Session Two  “Sex and Marriage”

The Christian church of late antiquity called its faithful to a life of chastity in a world in which sexual hedonism prevailed.  We in our time bring healing to embodied souls broken by their own and others’ sins and provide a positive, hopeful witness as they learn how to live as created, redeemed, and sanctified sons and daughters of God.

  • Session Three  “The Light No Darkness can Overcome”

Jesus has called His ministers and royal priests to faithful proclamation and living in every era. We must not shrink in the face of our current challenge. Confident mission in our tumultuous times rests securely on the efficacy of His Word, the Incarnation of His Son, the transforming power of His Sacraments, the koinonia of His body, the Church, and the sanctifying power of His Spirit.

A Shepherd’s Guide to the Cure of Souls:  The Pastoral Habitus

 (3 hours)

The crowded calendars and complex position descriptions of the modern pastorate provide scarce opportunity for reflection on the nature of the pastoral office and its meaning in the confusing times in which we live. Dr. CFW Walther defined seelsorge, or the cure of souls, as “a practical disposition (habitus) of the soul acquired through certain external means.”  This presentation seeks to unpack the meaning and application of that definition for our time.

  • Session One  “What Is a Pastor?”

Competing models of pastoral ministry threaten to undermine clarity and confidence among us. Together we will explore the classical model of the pastor reflected in Scripture and the church’s practice through the centuries: a spiritual physician for both the baptized and those as yet outside the faith.  Before we know what to do as pastors, we need to have a clear vision of who we are.

  • Session Two  “Reaching Christ’s ‘other sheep’”

The classical model pertains not merely to the care of confessing Christians, but also in reaching those who do not yet confess Christ. Together we will discover how the classic care of souls applies to mission and the evangelization of a chaotic world.

  • Session Three  “The Care of Pastors’ Souls”

St. Paul’s reminder to the elders at Ephesus is good for us as well: “Tend yourselves and the flock in which the Holy Spirit has Made You Overseers.”  Together we will review the why and how of the care of the pastor’s soul: his care by another pastor and his self care by private oral meditation and prayer.