The Call to Serve as a Spiritual Leader…
… is both an incredible privilege and a challenging adventure, sometimes feeling more like an all- consuming burden than a joyous experience. Research shows that it is very common for spiritual leaders to experience a sense of isolation and to struggle with burnout and depression as they try to meet everyone’s expectations and maintain their own life-giving relationship with God.
What Causes Clergy Burnout?
- unrealistic expectations (your own + those of your faith community)
- so many needs and not enough of you to go around
- disillusionment with the reality of ministry versus the vision
- blurred boundaries- your private and family life is always under a microscope
- financial pressures
- multiple roles and skills required
- no time for self-care and spiritual renewal
- no safe person to talk with about all this, other than your spouse
Here at the Journey Center, we know from many years of experience what it is like to serve as a spiritual leader (both “the agony and the ecstasy”!). God has called us to develop and offer resources for you and your faith community- resources that will help you to:
-tend to the needs of those in your care, AND
-tend to your own health and spiritual well-being.
We offer vital resources designed for those who are engaged in the challenge of leading faith communities. In a safe and confidential space, you are invited to step out of your role and into the encouragement and help that comes from being in God’s presence with those who are compassionate, experienced listeners. Scholarships are available so that everyone can receive the resources that they need for their journey.
• Individual Spiritual Direction sessions (a place to deepen your awareness of and response to God’s presence and activity in your life)
• Growing Together Workshop (always offered at no charge to clergy and spouses)
• Re-Visioning Retreats (for those in ministry who are seeking to refresh their friendship with God and explore their call in a deeper way)
• Confidential Pastoral Support/Counseling(individual and group)
• Local day retreat space (at the Journey Center – with notice, we can arrange private space for your prayer or work time.) Call the office at 707-578-2121
• Workshops, Groups and Classes (for enrichment on your spiritual journey)
• Pulpit Supply (a number of our staff are experienced speakers/teachers, available to speak to your congregation and give you some time off! We can craft a message around your needs or bring our own inspirational message)
• “Encountering God in Creation”Adventures for you and your core leadership team, for simple retreat and enjoyment, or more challenging experiences for team-building.
We are available to facilitate the following kinds of experiences for your congregation…in your
own facility, at the Journey Center or in a retreat/ conference setting. Fees are negotiable and can be covered by a small per-person suggested donation. Visit our website for detailed descriptions of our offerings or contact us to collaborate on creating something new that is specifically suited to where you and your congregation find yourselves on your unique journey.
• Workshops/Classes/Groups: (a few examples) Spiritual Direction Workshop, The Growing Together Workshop (relationship enrichment for married couples and/or premarital counseling for engaged couples), An Introduction to Contemplative Prayer Practices, Prayer Collage/Vision Board (art/ creativity experience), The Enneagram: A Tool for Transformation (introductory/advanced workshops and groups)
• Retreats: we can create and facilitate any kind of contemplative retreat (1-5 days) for your whole congregation or a particular group from within your faith community.
• Prayer/Meditation Gatherings: Centering Prayer, Imaginative Prayer, Lectio Divina and others
• “Encountering God in Creation”Adventures: local, northern California or Yosemite National Park experiences for groups of all sizes.
• We can train gifted individuals to serve as spiritual directors in your faith community and we offer spiritual direction with an intern to individuals at no charge.
• Marriage, Family and Child Counseling Services