VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 12/3/14)—The Ministers Council has been awarded a $45,000, two-year grant by the Imago Dei Fund to implement the “7R’s of Sanctuary: Leadership Effectiveness through Spiritual Practice” program. The program is designed to help clergy to realize spiritual wellbeing and increased effectiveness as leaders by incorporating spiritual practices in their lives. The grant will support clergy and allow them to participate in retreats and follow-up gatherings in order to reinforce as a rule of life the need to take time apart from their daily leadership duties to engage in spiritual practices. Doing so ensures that souls are nurtured and leaders are enabled to remain connected to their calling.
Research is clear that leaders who take time apart to engage in spiritual practices are more effective in their leadership. Specifically, it is the practice of reflection that makes the difference. Leaders must become competent in taking an action and simultaneously reflecting on the action to learn from it. The challenge is in making space for that time of reflection so that leaders can restore their sense of purpose, put issues in perspective, and regain courage and heart. This is the goal of the 7Rs of Sanctuary program. In this time apart, participants are revitalized, and decision making is enriched in a spirit of peace and certainty.
The 7R’s of Sanctuary program is being implemented as a two-year pilot starting in Massachusetts in 2015. Specifically, the Ministers Council will offer two, three-day retreats and up to four follow up sessions per cohort each year for two years. By participating, leaders will learn how to realize that soul-restoring place of sanctuary and emerge from the process with direction for their leadership. Not only does this impact the leader, but also the people entrusted to them in their churches and through ministries in the community.
Registration for a spring 2015 cohort will begin soon. Interested groups or individuals can obtain more information about the 7R’s of Sanctuary Program by contacting the Ministers Council at (800) ABC-3USA ext. 2334.
The Imago Dei Fund is a foundation that supports efforts to bring about the imago Dei in both personal and larger quests for wholeness to redeem with love our broken world, as demonstrated in Christ’s life and teachings. The Imago Dei Fund seeks to participate in what God is doing by partnering with inspired people—those with passion and a good idea—who are working within effective organizations that seek to make the world a better place.
The Ministers Council, ABCUSA, an independent, non-profit organization of ordained, commissioned and lay Christian leaders who are serving American Baptist Churches, works to nurture, encourage and strengthen ministerial leaders by providing fellowshipping opportunities; spiritual enrichment; and educational programming to fuel the effectiveness of the men and women called of God to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.