Modern church leaders need to cultivate innovative and creative leadership skills, as they navigate today’s post-Christian world, and as their congregations look to them for insight and guidance. Gil Stafford takes a fresh look at this vital need, drawing upon his experience as a college coach, university president, and parish priest, and interweaving them with ancient spiritual practices found within the discipline of spiritual direction. Personal anecdotes help the reader envision their own life-transforming pilgrimage, as they develop into the type of adaptive leader that churches need in today’s rapidly changing world. This book challenges church leaders to foster sacred safe space, holy listening, silence, and wisdom storytelling, in order to create a discerning church community. These techniques of spiritual direction can be applied to every aspect of the church, from small group studies to conducting parish business. Gradually the leader will be able to delegate some of his responsibilities to the congregation, liberating them to be leaders, and rescuing him from trying to be all things to all people.
Don’t just LEAD a small group, DIRECT it. Members of your small group look to you for answers. They bring their raw questions and intimate needs to you, looking for wisdom and understanding. How can you encourage your group to consider the Holy Spirit’s voice?“Spiritual direction is an ancient art of being with another person in relationship with God,” writes author Heather Webb. This time-tested practice requires that you remain attentive and open to divine interactions you might otherwise miss. Field-tested through the author’s years of experience, Small Group Leadership as Spiritual Direction will help you:- Avoid common small-group pitfalls- Take on difficult questions- Speak God’s words into others’ lives- Deepen your group’s desire for GodThe exciting discipline of spiritual direction allows you to create a space in which the Holy Spirit can move among your group. As you begin to discern Christ’s call in the lives of others, you will see your ministry with a new perspective and uncover new ways to direct your group, not just lead it.
Spiritual Discovery: A Method for Discernment in Small Groups and Congregations is a practical guide for groups desiring a prayerful approach to decision-making. This book offers step-by-step guidance for practicing this process, the powerful instrument Catherine Tran and Sandra Boyd have created to help groups enact spiritual growth and change in their communities.
"Everyone has taken a pilgrimage,” says author Gil Stafford “Some pilgrimages are intentional: I walked across Ireland. Some are unintentional: I walked my mother through the final days of her life. Life is a pilgrimage. But, do we walk intentionally, embracing the transformational process?” Stafford begins Wisdom Walking with the idea that life is a pilgrimage and uses this to guide readers on their own pilgrimage towards wisdom. He layers onto that idea the notion that on our pilgrimages of life we can be gaining wisdom about our lives. Stafford then adds the Jungian typology for gaining wisdom and tells all of this through stories of his own and others' pilgrimages in a very readable fashion. Life is a pilgrimage; make yours one that leads to greater wisdom!
In our postmodern, experience-oriented culture, people are longing for greater authenticity, integrity, and depth in their pastors and leaders. Board directors, church members, and staff alike are all eagerly seeking leaders who effectively integrate their spirituality and leadership. Pastors and executives, however, often struggle with knowing how to integrate their spiritual values and practices into their leadership and management roles. Designed for pastors, executives, administrators, managers, coordinators, and all who see themselves as leaders and who want to fulfill their God-given purpose, The Spirit-Led Leader addresses the critical fusion of spiritual life and leadership for those who not only want to see results, but who also desire to care just as deeply about who they are and how they lead as they do about what they produce and accomplish. Geoffrion creates a new vision for spiritual leadership as partly an art, partly a result of careful planning, and always a working of the grace of God
Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations introduces faith communities and individuals to the centuries-old principles and practices of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction, as Chad R. Abbot and Teresa Blythe practice and teach it, emphasizes four aspects of the faith journey: becoming more aware of the presence of the Holy in our daily lives, reflecting on that awareness and deepening our relationship with God, discerning where God is leading, and sharing our spiritual gifts with the world. Abbott and Blythe also share simple ways to evaluate the outcomes of spiritual awakening: "fruits of the Spirit." As a middle judicatory minister and spiritual director who work with clergy, lay leaders, and congregations around issues of spiritual life and energy, the authors long for churches to become vital spiritual communities that meet the needs of people right where they are. They strive to nurture congregations where pastors don't have to do it all; where members are equipped to share their gifts with one another; where leaders rest easy, knowing the board has discerned the vision well; and where all discover the rich array of spiritual food Christianity serves. In these complex and confusing times, the authors extend to us an invitation and hope: "Incline your ear... that you may live." As communities of faith study and experience Incline Your Ear together, they will find new ways to be in love with God and listen to the Spirit.
Spiritual direction has been an intrinsic part of the Christian tradition since the earliest days of the church when desert mothers and fathers were sought out for their wisdom and guidance. This guide aims to equip clergy and laity engaged in this task, or in training for it.
Have you ever wondered what releasing spiritual potential in the workplace might do for your organization? In today's climate of colossal and incredibly fast global change, the world needs new ways to develop discerning leaders to consciously lead our community of life into the future. Though there are many books on leadership, they rarely engage the importance and relevance of spiritual development and spiritual accompaniment in organizational discernment and leadership development. Spiritual formation through spiritual direction has the potential to transform the way we lead organizations in secular and religious settings. Drawing on the wisdom and experience of leaders and spiritual directors, this book, first, broadens our understanding of how spiritual direction can be a resource for leadership and organizational development; second, supports spiritual directors in developing their corporate practice and their understanding of the relevance of spiritual direction for a wider community.
This book addresses the problem of toxic leadership in Christian contexts. Toxic leadership behaviors of narcissistic and obsessive-compulsive leaders will be emphasized. To counteract toxic Christian leadership, this book proposes a leadership development model, called formational leadership, which is based mostly on Wesleyan spirituality, but also includes monastic and Pentecostal spiritualities. Formational leadership is an eclectic leadership development model that includes components of transformational, authentic, and primal leadership approaches. Formational leadership emphasizes the spiritual, emotional, and ethical development processes in the leader and includes an analysis of orthokardia, orthodynamis, and orthopraxis. These components have a circular relationship with one another. Orthokardia includes the concepts of spiritual and emotional maturity that a Christian leader needs to develop in order to become an ethical and effective leader. Orthodynamis includes right power and influence motives based on Christian affections that should inform formational leadership. Orthopraxis refers to “right” and “just” leadership behaviors informed by Wesley’s social holiness and justice values that need to be adopted as organizational core values. The implications of these components for leadership development are outlined in chapters 4–6 that include practical steps for helping toxic leaders change their dysfunctional and harmful intentions and behaviors.
• Easy-to-understand model of spiritual discernment for individuals and groups • Introduces an array of spiritual practices • Connects powerful spiritual practices with psychological understanding and social insight • Study guide included Dan Prechtel contends that the Holy One wants to—and often does—speak to us in language of powerful symbols from the depths of our individual and collective being. Symbols that emerge from our particular situations and are deeply connected with our spiritual tradition provide light on the path of our spiritual journey to illuminate our situation and give insight into God’s desire for us personally and in our common life. The book helps individual readers, small groups, spiritual directors, and counselors pay closer attention to those symbols that emerge from the deep source of wisdom and creativity within and around us to serve as guides. Offering examples from his personal life as well as from professional experience as a spiritual guide, Prechtel explores a practical model of spiritual discernment and discusses how tools such as contemplative spiritual practices, exploring the wisdom of dream symbols, and participation in sacramental rituals all provide powerful symbols to guide the discernment process. He looks at varying contexts for discernment, from personal situations to global issues. There are questions for personal and group reflection throughout the book, along with additional examples of guided imagery meditations and further discussion on dream work at the end.