Our goal: Retooling Vineyard pastors in the fine art of spiritual direction, readying them for Christ-centered ministry in the ever-changing culture of the 21st century.
As we see it, Vineyard Churches are strategically placed to become working models of what the church might look like when men and women in leadership re-discover our original roots as Christ-centered contemplative activists, stepping into our existing ministries better equipped with the powerful spiritual formation tools found within the ancient art of spiritual direction.
Eugene Peterson, in his books The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction (1989) and Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity (1989) said that there would come a time when pastors and ministry leaders across North America would need to retool themselves and their churches in the fine art of spiritual direction, so that we might 1) be consistent with the ancient heritage of generations who have gone before us, and 2) be able to effectively influence a society that is moving ever closer to the brink of social disaster, where busyness and stress at the pace of fast is destroying our relationships, our bodies, and more importantly, our souls. Here’s an amazing quote from Eugene Peterson for you to ponder.
A reformation may be in process in the way pastors do their work. It may turn out to be as significant as the theological reformation of the sixteenth century. I hope so. The signs are accumulating. The vocational reformation of our own time (if it turns out to be that) is a rediscovery of the pastoral work of the cure of souls. The phrase sounds antique. It is antique. But it is not obsolete. It catches up and coordinates, better than any other expression I am aware of, the unending warfare against sin and sorrow and the diligent cultivation of grace and faith to which the best pastors have consecrated themselves in every generation. Discovering the meaning of Scripture, developing a life of prayer, guiding growth into maturity. This is the pastoral work that is historically termed the cure of souls. The primary sense of “cura” in Latin is “care,” with undertones of “cure.” The soul is the essence of the human personality. The cure of souls, then, is the Scripture-directed, prayer-shaped care that is devoted to persons singly or in groups, in settings sacred and profane. It is a determination to work at the center, to concentrate on the essential.
Here’s one young pastor’s journey into that reformation…Enjoy!
What’s a Year One Training Cohort look like?
A year-one experience offers participants an immersive, integrated and robust introduction to the ministry of spiritual direction. Through the combined experience of reading superb literature, engaging in individual and group exercises, paying close attention to one’s life, practicing spiritual disciplines, receiving spiritual direction, and offering direction – all in a communal setting – students move toward competency as spiritual directors.
There are 5 modules (the 2-day sessions) in the Year One training, with a theme to each one:
- Foundations: The Story
- Foundations: The Conversation
- Group Spiritual Direction & Discernment
- The Journey: Stages of Faith
Our cohort objectives…
- grow in your own love for and devotion to God
- grow in your experience of God’s love for you
- grow in discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit
- develop superb listening skills at the cognitive, affective, and non-verbal levels
- understand basics of body language/non-verbal communication
- become acquainted with the art & practice of spiritual direction through great literature
- cultivate a personalized definition and practice of spiritual direction
- become familiar with the Enneagram as a tool for personal self–understanding and spiritual growth
- develop a set of basic questions for framing & guiding spiritually-directed conversations
- become a spiritual director who is confident in God and growing in competency with people
More details at http://www.sustainablefaith.com/sod-year-1-overview
So here’s our invitation to you, dear fellow Vineyard pastor. Beginning in 2018, Dan Henry and I plan to join together with Vineyard Regional Overseers to host our first ever regional Year One Training Cohort in Spiritual Direction geared exclusively for Vineyard pastors. Dates & Location: TBA.
Dan has been involved in pastoral ministry in the Vineyard for many years, serving in Cincinnati since 1995. As fellow trainers in spiritual direction with Sustainable Faith, we’re so excited to extend this opportunity for you to join with other pastors throughout the Vineyard family to gather for five mid-week mini-retreats where we will re-dedicate ourselves to our call to Kingdom mission and ministry while slowing down long enough to retool ourselves; becoming what Eugene Peterson would call a contemplative pastor.
For more information and to stay informed on cohort specifics, please contact us!
Marty Boller & Dan Henry, long-time Vineyard pastors & now Sustainable Faith trainers in spiritual direction. Cheers!
Marty Boller (319) 361-5256
HERE’S A FEW TESTIMONIES FROM VINEYARD PASTORS…
I’ve been working with a spiritual director for more than a year and I can’t begin to express the positive impact it’s had on every area of my life. My awareness of God’s presence, my ability to rest in his unchanging love and my determination to do everything I do for his eyes only has grown exponentially! Simply learning to celebrate my soul’s TRUE identity as one forgiven, chosen, adopted, containing, belonging and beloved, has made all the difference. My personal experience made working with Sustainable Faith to train spiritual directors in our church a no-brainer. Marty and Sandy Boller have done a wonderful job and we couldn’t be more excited to continue the relationship. Pastor Mark Warner, Vineyard Church of Overland Park, KS.
The Vineyard Church in Overland Park, KS (Kansas City area) is one of our prime examples where the senior pastors and their staff have decided to invest whole-heartedly in the overarching themes of contemplative activism, including disciplines of spiritual formation, equipping spiritual directors, and birthing mission and outreach from a contemplative Christ-centered world-view. Over the last two years, we have traveled into Kansas City to bring a Year One and Year Two training cohort and at this present time, we are all pleased to see all that God seems to be doing both in the Vineyard church, but also with other churches and denominations throughout the region! Mark Warner would be glad to talk with you further, sharing his story with you!
Working with a spiritual director has been very helpful, rewarding and challenging. I feel like I’ve gained a whole new perspective in my relationship with God and also with how I view myself and my role in life. The spiritual direction cohort led by Sandy and Marty Boller exceeded my expectations. I appreciated their thoughtful and insightful leadership. They’re a great team, leading with humor and compassion. I highly recommend them, as well as the Year One cohort. Can’t wait to start Year Two! Pastor Lisa Mulcahy, Vineyard Church of Grafton, WI
We had several people from our church complete the 1st year of Spiritual Direction training. It was a great experience for everyone involved! Each of them talked about the profound impact the cohort had for their own spiritual journey. Plus it equipped them with a valuable set of skills that we are excited about putting to use for the benefit of our whole church. Marty and Sandy Boller did an awesome job as cohort leaders; I highly recommend them and the School of Spiritual Direction. Pastor Pat Mulcahy, Vineyard Church of Grafton, WI