Archive for 2016

Mary, Did You Know? Entering into the Mystery

Music for Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve marks the end of Advent and the beginning of the Christmas season. In candlelight services and intimate family gatherings around the world, we enter into a season of celebrating one of the great mysteries of our faith—a God who comes to us as a tiny, fragile human being, making it possible for him…

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Transforming leaders — may their tribe increase!

Announcement from Ruth Haley Barton

Dear Friend, It is hard to remember a time when the topic of leadership and character has been more pressing on our minds and hearts. The most oft-repeated sentiment I heard during the recent presidential election was some version of “Since I can’t vouch for either candidate’s character I am going to vote for their…

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Can You Hear God Now? Your Most Important Leadership Role

What is Spiritual Leadership?

Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  Those who are spiritual discern all things…  1 Corinthians 2:14-15a A pastor told me that his church had outgrown their facility, so they were asking,…

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Advent 1: The Importance of Waking Up

Advent Week One

Lectionary readings for November 27, 2016: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Rom 13:11-14; Matt 24:36-44 Click for complete Advent calendar (Cycle A) and guidance on using the lectionary. “God comes to us like the sun in the morning—when it is time.”—Carlo Carretto, The God Who Comes My favorite time of any day is the pre-dawn moments before the…

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Advent 2016: Enlarged in the Waiting

Advent 2016

“Of all types of waiting, the waiting of pregnancy is most like the waiting that we do during Advent. The waiting of pregnancy is like the waiting we do for God.” – Wendy Wright For four years my wife and I were eager to have a baby. At first, naturally, we tried like everyone else. After…

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Election Day 2016: Lord, Teach Us to Pray…Today

Election Dat 2016: Teach us to pray today

“Lord, teach us to pray…”  ~ Jesus’ disciples in Luke 11 Ok, I admit it.  I’ve been discouraged, grumpy and even a bit depressed this election season, as I’m sure many of you have been. Perhaps the most accurate way to describe my state of mind and heart is that I have experienced desolation, in…

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From Decision-Making to Discernment: One Leader’s Experience

spiritual discernment for groups

“If we are not pursuing the will of God together in fairly intentional ways, what are we doing? Our own will? What seems best according to our own thinking and planning? That which is merely strategic or expedient or good for the ego?” —Ruth Haley Barton Years ago I remember watching the doctor who invented…

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First Things First: Practicing What We Preach

Practicing What we Preach

“A leader is a person who must take special responsibility for what’s going on inside him/herself, inside his or her consciousness, lest the act of leadership do more harm than good.” –Parker Palmer By the time you get this, I will have begun an eight-day silent retreat.  During this time, I will not have access…

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A Roadmap for Spiritual Formation

“The way to spiritual wholeness lies in an increasingly faithful response to the One whose purpose shapes our path, whose grace redeems our detours, whose power liberates us from crippling bondages of the prior journey and whose transforming presence meets us at each turn in the road.” – M. Robert Mulholland Spiritual formation has become one of the major movements…

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Alumni Survey: Is the Transforming Community experience transforming leaders?

Transforming Community survey results

We surveyed those who have completed the Transforming Community since 2001 and 85.5% indicated that the Transforming Community experience was very valuable and changed them in profound ways! No one indicated that the experience was neutral or not valuable. We received an excellent response rate to this alumni survey and are excited to share the results with you. The…

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Transforming Center and IVP Partner to Carry on Legacy of M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

The Transforming Center is honored to steward the work of Dr. M. Robert Mulholland, Jr (1936-2015) by offering two of his most important works to a new generation of pastors and leaders as Transforming Resources®. In partnership with InterVarsity Press we will be re-releasing expanded editions of Invitation to a Journey and The Deeper Journey as Transforming Resources this spring! Based…

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Announcing the M. Robert Mulholland Scholarship Fund

We are pleased to announce that the board of the Transforming Center has created a scholarship fund for pastors and leaders in honor of Dr. M. Robert Mulholland, Jr. This fund currently provides clergy and non-profit leaders an automatic scholarship into the Transforming Community®,  a two-year experience of spiritual formation for leaders. “The establishment of this fund…

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Holy Week: An Invitation to Walk with Christ

Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for the Liturgy of the Palms: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-20; Luke 19:28-40 Lectionary readings for the Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49 “Could you not stay awake with me one hour?” Matthew 26:40 Holy Week is a bizarre juxtaposition of…

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A Cruciform Journey into the Cruciform God

Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for March 13, 2016: Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 A journey into God may be the best way to describe Lent and Holy Week. Of course, it…

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Remembering Bob Mulholland

Dr. M. Robert Mulholland Jr., 1936–2015

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear, the saying goes, and that is certainly what happened to me with Bob Mulholland. When I first encountered his book, Invitation to a Journey, I was in my early thirties and experiencing the limits of what typical “evangelical” discipleship models had to offer. I had already begun seeking…

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Lent: Help us Find Our Confession

Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for March 6, 2016: Joshua 5:9-12; Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 God, help us find our confession; The truth within us which is hidden from our mind; The beauty or ugliness we see elsewhere But never in ourselves; The stowaway which has been smuggled Into the dark…

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Ash Wednesday: Crossing the Threshold into Lent

Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for February 10, 2016: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 “‘And yet even now,’ says the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart…’” –Joel 2:12 Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season—six weeks…

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Lent 2016: Ready or Not—Here it Comes!


Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something more than interesting or entertaining or thoughtful.  Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something awesome, something real.  Speak to my condition, Lord and change me somewhere inside where it matters.  Let something happen which is my real self, Oh God. —Ted Loder This year,…

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