Archive for 2017

Equipping and Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders

All the Lord is yet to do

Dear Friend, When a few of us started meeting together fifteen years ago to attend to our own spiritual formation as leaders, it would have been impossible to imagine all the Lord would eventually do. We began gathering on retreat not to start a ministry—but to survive and thrive ourselves. Now I can hardly believe…

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Advent: Leaders in Waiting

Lectionary Readings for the first week of Advent: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Mark 13:24-37 Click for complete Advent calendar (CycleB) and guidance on using the lectionary. “No one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.” Isaiah…

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What Happens After 30 Years of Being on Call 24/7/365

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson has served full time in urban ministry to youth for thirty years. He is currently a church planter and the lead pastor of The House and founder and executive director of The Firehouse Community Art Center. I have served Christ for thirty years in urban youth ministry in the Lawndale community of Chicago. The need to be “on call”…

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Fall Garden

In fall the garden is spent having given its all. Cucumber vines lie exhausted on the ground Tomato plants list to one side Cornstalks stand dignified and empty Sunflower faces droop earthward, shades of their former selves. All that has not been claimed lies moldering in the dirt— a bruised tomato, a forsaken pepper… a…

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A Taste of the Transforming Community

A Taste of Transforming Community

You’re invited on the journey of transforming leadership!  Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader is Season 1 of Ruth Haley Barton’s podcast Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. Each episode highlights a quarterly theme of the Transforming Community experience. Join Steve Wiens (a Transforming Community alum) for a lively dialogue with Ruth Haley Barton about forging and…

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Sustained by the Rhythm of Retreat

A Story from Transforming Community #4 by Gilbert and Lesley Smith

Continuing the story of Transforming Community: Transforming Community 4  (TC4) continued to impact the greater sense of community as more spouses of alumni and a church pastor, along with one of his elders, decided to embark on the transformational journey together. Shared language and experience can have a profound impact on these significant relationships, and it…

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The Desert Blooms

A Story from Transforming Community #4 by Vincent Rife

Continuing the story of Transforming Community: Transforming Community 4 (TC4)  continued to impact the greater sense of community as more spouses of alumni and a church pastor, along with one of his elders, decided to embark on the transformational journey together. Shared language and experience can have a profound impact on these significant relationships, and it was…

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Season 2: Episode 8 | Discerning the Presence of Christ

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

Ever had a conversation you wish didn’t have to end? The two disciples were so stirred by their conversation that “they urged Jesus strongly to stay.” And it was in the staying that the disciples recognized Jesus’ transforming presence as they shared a meal together. The practice of stability is not a strength of western…

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The Darkness of Indifference

Charlottesville

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.  The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” –Elie Wiesel Remember when the question, “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” was a point of conversation? …

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Season 2: Episode 5 | Men and Women in Community

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

If you read the Emmaus Road conversation carefully in Luke 24, you will notice that part of the story the disciples told Jesus was that “the women of our group astounded us” with news of the Resurrection on that first Easter morning. Ruth unpacks the countercultural approach Jesus took to the role of women and…

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Earn academic credit through our partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary

Transforming Community + Sioux Falls Seminary

Earn academic credit while participating in a Transforming Community® We are pleased to announce that the Transforming Center has formed a partnership with Sioux Falls Seminary, located in Sioux Falls, SD. Through the Kairos Project, an alternative educational track, participants in a Transforming Community® can fully integrate their transforming leadership journey with one of several…

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Season 2: Episode 2 | Welcoming the Stranger

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

Jesus wants to be in your juicy conversations. Just think about it—the Emmaus Road encounter would not have happened had the disciples not welcomed “the stranger” on their journey home. Welcoming the other’s experience and story are integral to the idea of welcoming the stranger. In episode 2, Ruth shares a story of how welcoming…

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Season 2: Episode 1 | Choosing to Walk Together

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

Many of us are carrying a lot of baggage regarding Christian community.  Ruth has often commented that it is one of the most over-promised, under-delivered aspects of the Christian life—which means that Christians who have been deeply involved in church are often the most cynical and disillusioned. In Season 2 of the Strengthening the Soul…

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On the Road to Becoming a Transforming Church

Becoming a Transforming Church retreat

“Nondiscipleship is the elephant in the church.”  – Dallas Willard Oak Hills Church was founded in 1984 with seventeen people in rented space at a strip mall in the “quickly growing but still quaint” little suburb known as Folsom, CA. Original members walked the streets, knocking on doors, inviting people to come to this brand new…

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What Kind of Church Are You?

becoming a transforming church

“Eventually, someone looking for a church home will ask some variation of this question:  So what kind of church are you?”  – Kent Carlson Recently while signing books at a conference on spiritual formation, a sharply-dressed woman approached who seemed to have no interest in purchasing a book. Instead, she marched right up to me…

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The Loneliness of Leadership

tree

Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me…If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.” Exodus 33:12, 14 Any leader who cannot endure profound levels of loneliness will not last…

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Episode 8 | For the Sake of Others

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

Are you a missional or a formational organization? Steve and Ruth take on this dualism. As usual, the conversation begins with looking at Scripture, showing the cause and effect relationship between our formation and the ability to discern the will of God. Ruth finally gets around to defining spiritual transformation and puts a stake in…

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Episode 7 | The Art and Practice of Spiritual Discernment

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

Discernment is not a subjective woo-woo experience! Ruth begins episode 7 by explaining why discernment is an art AND a practice. This discussion highlights the unlikely place discernment begins, and why it is important to remember God’s wisdom is often very different than human wisdom. Steve shares his own story of discerning together with other…

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Unfinished Business: Staying on the Journey

Clare Loughrige

Continuing the story of Transforming Community: The launch of Transforming Community 3 marked significant growth in the number of participants but also in the experience itself. With 40 people on retreat–including six Christian Reformed Church pastors who came together from Michigan on a Lilly grant!– it was time to create a small serving team that could better facilitate…

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A Good Gift: Experiencing Transformation in Community

Continuing the story of Transforming Community: The launch of Transforming Community 3 marked significant growth in the number of participants but also in the experience itself. With 40 people on retreat–including six Christian Reformed Church pastors who came together from Michigan on a Lilly grant!– it was time to create a small serving team that could better facilitate…

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Observing Lent: Seeing What We’re Missing

Lent-2017

Lectionary readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent Cycle A: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 Guidance on using the lectionary. “Spiritual masters often refer to a kind of “dread,” the nagging sense that we have missed something important and have been somehow untrue—to ourselves, to others, to God. Lent is a good…

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Finding My Voice: Experiencing Transformation in Community

Story from the second Transforming Community

Continuing the story of Transforming Community: After Transforming Community #1 (TC 1) concluded, there was a sense that others might want to join the journey as well; an invitation was offered a little more widely to start Transforming Community #2 and 26 people accepted. In this group were several spouses from those in TC 1 – some of whom were a…

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Episode 1 | Invitation to Retreat/Dangerously Tired

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast Show Notes

Join us on the journey of transforming leadership! What do pastors and ministry leaders tell Ruth when they know they are safe? In the very first episode of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast, Ruth and Steve discuss what it looks like for leaders to be dangerously tired. Are you holding a beach ball under water? Ruth shares…

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Returning to God with All Our Hearts: Preparing for a Holy Lent

Ash-Wednesday-Lent

Lectionary readings for Ash Wednesday Cycle A: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; II Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 Guidance on using the lectionary. I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating…

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A Leader’s Guide to Planning for Lent and Easter

Transforming Resources: Lent seasonal books and CDs

The seasons of the church year are meant to teach us essential truths of the spiritual life. Beyond mere information about the spiritual life, they offer us the opportunity to practice some of the key disciplines of our Christian faith and to do so together in community. The Lenten resources below will guide you and your congregation…

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All the Lord has Done: Sharing Stories of Transformation

“I have not hidden your saving help within my heart, I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness, from the great congregation.”  Psalm 40:9 The practice of noticing Those of you who have been through a Transforming Community remember that on the last retreat there is a…

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Epiphany: In Celebration of the Journey

Guidance on using the lectionary. Lectionary readings for January 6, 2017: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12 “A good journey begins with knowing where you are and being willing to go somewhere else.” Richard Rohr Today we celebrate epiphany—the “showing forth” or “the revelation” of Christ in the world. Epiphany takes its themes…

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