Beyond the Ordinary: Spirituality for Church Leaders
Over the Past few decades mainline Protestant congregations have not easily embraced the notion of spirituality. As much as any aspect of church life, spirituality has been misunderstood, misused, and resisted by both clergy and laity. Yet times are changing. Today many people feel a deep spiritual hunger and are out looking for fulfillment in a wide variety of settings. In this new context, mainline congregations need to awaken to the presence of the Spirit in their midst and equip leaders to nurture both the personal and corporate spirituality of their congregations. Beyond the Ordinary is explicitly written to help church leaders who have had no formal training in spiritual formation. Drawing from years of experience teaching Christian spirituality, Ben Campbell Johnson and Andrew Dreitcer explore the spiritual dimensions of leadership, looking in depth at the meaning of spirituality as it relates to the tasks of ministry. This friendly, inspiring book will enable readers to erase the negative stereotypes of spirituality and develop vital models and practices for the church today. The book introduces a faithful understanding and practice of the spiritual life to those who have not yet dipped into the well that is Christian spirituality. For those who have already tasted this water and still thirst, it offers a way to dip even more deeply. Chapters discuss the issues surrounding a meaningful spirituality for our changing times, the importance of holding prayer and mission in tension, and the crucial role of Scripture in the formation of our lives. The authors also underscore the importance of vision, myth, and discernment in the spiritual life of the church. And they discuss the power of spiritual practices like discernment and visioning for enhancing the spirituality of congregations and helping them become agents of social transformation. Intended for personal and group use by pastors, elders, other church leaders, and those preparing for service in the church, the book includes questions for reflection and discussion as well as journaling exercises to encourage learning and growth.
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Chapter Two THE SPIRITUALITY OF MINISTRY
A SPIRITUALITY GROUNDED IN THE WORD
MYTH IN CONGREGATIONAL SPIRITUALITY
THE SPIRITUALITY OF VISION
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL COMPANIONSHIP
Andrew Purves asked awareness baptism baptized become begin believe biblical Centering Prayer Christian comes congregation congregation's contemplative culture cutting edge decision deepest desire describe dimension discover Divine Presence encounter engage Eugene Peterson experience explore faith father feel focus focused gifts God's call God's Presence grace group discernment hang glider healing Henri Nouwen Holy Ignatius of Loyola images imagine invitation issue Jesus Prayer John Calvin journey lay leaders leadership Lectio Divina listen lives Lord meditation meeting mind minister ministry myth offer original vision pastor path pathway pay attention Perhaps person practices pray preaching prophetic receive relationship response rest rience role sacred Scripture seeker seeking seems seminary sense sion soul speak spiritual direction spiritual formation story SUGGESTIONS FOR JOURNALING Teresa of Avila things tion tradition transformation trust vision quest wisdom woman words