Faithful Innovation Process Fosters Spiritual Deepening
Desiring to learn more about the actual spiritual impact of the Faithful Innovation process, I surveyed lay leaders from St. David’s, Minnetonka, Holy Trinity, St. Paul, St. Christopher’s, Roseville, and Trinity, Anoka after they completed the eight-month process. It consisted of three Saturday trainings, monthly meetings with a coach, and regular congregation-wide (as much as possible) engagement with three spiritual practices focused on listening more intently to God, other church members, and their neighbors. To my delight, at the end of the Faithful Innovation process participants were 82% more comfortable dwelling in scripture, 66% more comfortable asking God questions, 70% more comfortable talking about God outside church, 72% more comfortable listening for the Holy Spirit, and 78% more comfortable trying new things with their faith community.
Faithful Innovation is a process in which teams of lay leaders are trained to invite members of their faith communities to engage in spiritual practices, and to participate in simple experiments to learn more about what the Holy Spirit is up to in the lives of their neighbors.
The commitment includes not only the three in-person Saturday trainings, but also two team meetings each month (one with a coach), and time apprenticing faith community members into spiritual practices and organizing simple experiments.
One of the best things about this process is that lay leaders develop a greater awareness of God’s presence and movement in their lives and neighborhoods. They also get to know and network with other lay leaders. As one participant commented, “being with folks from other churches and hearing their insights and their struggles was really helpful and meaningful for me. They gave me comfort, inspiration, and a sense of solidarity in the work we do together. Also, there are now many people and congregations that I can network with, consult with, and ask for help if I need it.”
A rector who participated wrote, “the Faithful Innovation process has been truly transformative . . . It’s renewed my commitment to ministry in this changing way of being church in the world, in ways that have been so helpful for me professionally, vocationally, and personally.”
The next Faithful Innovation process will begin February 24 with Saturday trainings on that date, June 8, and September 28. It will be limited to the first five churches to commit. Please let me know if you are interested.
The Rev. Blair Pogue, Canon for Vitality and Innovation|