Spiritual Formation for Ministry

Those of us in ministry face particular challenges: how to maintain our own “spiritual capital” when we are constantly giving to others, how to navigate our own faith crises and doubts, how to stay alive to God and respond to new invitations and desires.

Dr. Grant Bickerton and the University of Western Sydney produced a study of work engagement and burnout among religious workers. Their research demonstrated that among all types of religious workers, the only predictor of positive work engagement over time was spiritual resources. Regardless of the job resources available - money, training, help - the lack of spiritual resources leads to lower work engagement and burnout.

For the last 15 years, I have been providing spiritual resources in the areas of:

Training in Spiritual Formation for Ministry - how to maintain spiritual vitality in the midst of the demands of calling to ministry. We are called to an activist ministry - how do we cultivate a “spirituality for the sent?”

Spiritual Practices and their role in our ongoing transformation in Christ. What are the spiritual disciplines or practices that will enable us to attend to and respond to God?

Sabbatical Preparation and Direction - how can you best prepare for and use your sabbatical?

Vocational discernment - discerning what is our part in participating in God’s work in the world. How do we grow in recognizing that calling and responding to it? What is involved in discerning God’s direction at important junctions in our lives?

Vocational Holiness: Every calling has its challenges, threats and temptations. How do we recognize ours - both from the inside (our own sin patterns and idolatries) and from the outside, (our culture, organizations and institutions.) How do we create habits that will enable us to recognize and avoid those pitfalls, and live out our calling with integrity?

Navigating the stages of life and faith. How does the journey of faith change throughout the journey? How do I recognize those stages in ourselves and others, and navigate them well? What are the particular challenges, tasks and temptations of each life stage? What does maturity in Christ look like? How do we have a vision and a path that will take us to the end of life, when we are not as active and productive?

Spiritual Formation Resources: What are some of the resources - books, spiritual direction, retreats, studies - available to help me and those to whom I minister to continue to grow in the love of God?

Individual Spiritual Direction: Listening with someone to hear what God is inviting them to, and helping them to know how to best respond to what he is doing.

"Carolyn has helped take our team of Team Leaders to a much deeper place spiritually. Her input has contributed to a marked difference in our leaders not only hearing how they need to value "soul care" but to also take action on those thoughts and make them become life habits. We're thankful to the Lord for Carolyn!" Derrick Grow, Ministry Director

"Carolyn is an excellent guide for the soul journeys that we are on. Her education and life experiences have given her insight into the landscape and the language of the soul, enabling her to come alongside others as they travel their own." Mike Maney, Spiritual Formation Resources, Eastern Europe/Russia