"Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life."
The Rev. Dr. Marty O'Rourke has served as a local church pastor for over 35 years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Medina, Ohio; and Chesapeake,Virginia. He is passionate about equipping Christian leaders to finish well. While researching sexual misconduct in the church for his Doctor of Ministry dissertation, he discovered that prevention training of leaders reduces the likelihood of moral failure. Most prevention training has primarily a psychological approach, whereas the "Guard Your Heart" prevention training that Pastor Marty developed is grounded in the Scriptures and the social sciences.
Many Christian leaders do not finish well. Paul, who finished well, writes to his spiritual son, Timothy: "Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity" (1Timothy 4:12). The primary purpose of this training is to empower pastors and Christian leaders to finish their race well, by understanding the unique temptations leaders and their families face in a culture where temptation, especially sexual, abounds.
Marty has presented the Guard Your Heart training numerous times to the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA); M.Div and D.Min. classes at Regent University; chaplains at Portsmouth Naval Hospital; the Falls Church staff in Falls Church, VA; Mid-Atlantic Christian University, and hundreds of pastors ahd church planters in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Rev. Marty O'Rourke
Church of the Messiah
816 Kempsville Road
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Click the video link above to watch the opening session of the Guard Your Heart training.
What others are saying about "Guard Your Heart"
As an Executive Pastor I had my staff attend the Guard Your Heart workshop led by the Rev. Marty O'Rourke. I have been a pastor for over twenty years, and my wife and I have been in ministry in several different churches over the years. I have also had my staff take several different workshops on prevention of misconduct of various kinds. I found the Guard Your Heart workshop to be the most helpful in addressing issues straightforwardly, but from a positive Christian point of view.
(The Rev. Dr.) Frederick Wright
Senior Associate Rector, The Falls Church
Falls Church, Va. 22046
We are greatly privileged to have such an experienced, encouraging, well-equipped presentation. You know whereof you speak, making it accessible for students to understand and practical to apply. I have no doubt that you prevented problems in our students' lives and ministries, and equipped them to serve others better.
Mark A. Jumper, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theological and Ministerial Studies
School of Divinity, Regent University
The Guard Your Heart training seminar is an asset to any ministry or organization, one of the most powerful tools available today is a preemptive strike against the problems of integrity and sexual misconduct before they happen. My opinion should be an essential part of all leadership preparation I strongly encourage you to consider this seminar for your ministry or organization. I would be delighted to comment further on this seminar resource contacted by phone or email.
Dr. James T. Flynn
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program
School of Divinity, Regent University
My husband and I have been married for 33 years. We have been in ordained ministry for 28 of those years. Entering parish life after seminary was something we were not prepared for. The demands of "The Church" and the demands of a family can become overwhelming.
I wish we had heard this teaching before leaving Seminary. There are so many "mine fields" in the ministry. Rev. O'Rourke shared practical ways to prevent getting "blown away." His message was proactive, like the Priests having an accountability partner, and letting your wife know about all your appointments, especially when women are involved. There were many other great suggestions.
Church of the Epiphany-Anglican
To: Whom It May Concern
From: Charles J. Cunningham Jr., Lt Gen, USAF (Retired)
Joint Forces Staff College
Subject: Improper Behavior, Temptation, and Avoiding Trouble
This is my personal endorsement of, and professional judgment regarding a very important program designed by the Rev. Dr. Marty O'Rourke to prepare leaders to do the right things when associating with others, especially those under their leadership.