Dune grass, pastors, and stability in the harsh conditions of today’s church and society

As we officially enter into the summer months, many of us start thinking about a trip to the beach!  Having recently returned from a week on the shores of Lake Michigan, I am reminded once again of the beauty and environmental significance of dune grass.

mark-green(1)The Significance of Dune Grass

Dune grass performs an essential function. In an environment in which high winds, shifting sand, and extreme heat are the norm, its extensive root system provides stability–the first line of defense against erosion.

From the beginning, the Transforming Center has embraced the beauty and functionality of dune grass to capture the essence of our mission—to strengthen the inner life (the root system) of pastors and Christian leaders so they can thrive under the intense pressures that are the norm of life in ministry. In fact, you will notice three strands of dune grass blown by the wind of the Spirit represented in our logo.

Leaders who are rooted in Christ and leading from their transforming selves stabilize the whole body of Christ. One clump all by itself won’t prevent erosion; but multiple clumps connected to each other provide stability in the harsh, ever-changing conditions of church and society today.

Bearing Fruit

Recently, David Johnson, Senior Pastor, Church of the Open Door, wrote…

“Not long after reading Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership, two of our staff joined a Transforming Community®. Now my wife and I have joined, along with two of our elders. To say that it is having an impact would be an understatement… we are seeing the impact ripple out from our leadership core into the entire congregation affecting, at a cellular level, the spiritual DNA of our church.

Ruth’s teaching is making accessible things in the spiritual life that we have long desired to bring to our people, but beyond preaching and teaching, we’ve not known how.  Well, now we do!”

When we see the vision for the Transforming Church initiative coming to life in churches, we thank God for the opportunity to do this work  and for the financial supporters who partner with us.

Your Participation Matters

In 2013 and 2014 , we will provide over $280,000 scholarships to hundreds of pastors and ministry leaders. Your monthly or one-time gift of any size will benefit pastors and ministry leaders, and also the congregations and organizations they serve. If you would like to mail your gift you can download our response card (pdf), complete it, and mail to P.O. Box 374 Warrenville, IL 60555.


With gratitude,

Ruth Haley Barton, DD




Ruth Haley Barton

Ruth (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Seminary) is Founder and Chief Essence Officer of the Transforming Center. A teacher, seasoned spiritual director (Shalem Institute), and retreat leader, Ruth is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life including Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Sacred Rhythms, Life Together in Christ, Pursuing God’s Will Together, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Invitation to Retreat, and Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest (Oct 2022).
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