The SoulCare Project is dedicated to providing culture shapers and influencers intentional space for rest and communion with Christ. Our desire is to provide a safe place to experience the quiet assurance of God’s love without becoming over-worked, exhausted, and burnt out. The majority of this vision is been accomplished by exposing people to the significance of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, and by providing retreats with an opportunity to set aside the busy and productive life in order to listen and hear God through stillness.
What Need or Opportunity are we seeking to meet?
We convene our target audience, curate a team of seasoned practitioners, and create strategic environments for culture shapers and influencers to develop new patterns for living in a fragmented world where people’s lives are splintering apart. We are on the frontier of helping people find that authentic Narrative that has been given to them since the beginning of time and helping them live that out.
There are 3 common denominators of influencers and culture shapers we serve;
- Internal Noise: Anger, Fear & Pain
- Loneliness & Isolation: Alone in a crowded world while feeling abandoned by God; Broken
- Identity: Shame of living in the false self. Spiritual transformation is a slow and deliberate process, and people often resist the very thing they crave. There is a cultural addiction to the need to be needed and our target audience is increasingly being convinced of the value of slowing down to catch up. People are living disconnected from their true identity.
What are our long-term goals and what lasting impact do we hope to see?
We will continue to increase the quality of our care. This will be accomplished through the deepening of retreat or workshop attendee responses. Specifically we will accomplish these outcomes in three ways;
(1) offering spiritual mentoring for those who are desiring and discerned to be ready
(2) Developing and delivering soul care resources (i.e. journals, books, audio, exercises, referral base, formal soul care intensives)
(3) carrying the soul care message to underdeveloped Christian communities.
Our theory is that we can shift culture through our continued concentrated focus on high capacity influencers and culture shapers in ministry and the marketplace. This is because they serve in key leveraging positions in the community.
What are our near-term objectives and how will we measure them?
Transformation is ultimately our goal, but we are aware that such an outcome does not take place because of our ability to provide wonderful retreats or workshops. Transformation is also a journey, one that often takes us in every direction both downward and upwards. Our growth in Christ is not a linear process, thus we feel our responsibility is to expose the retreat or workshop participants to an intentional created space for rest and communion with God. Gerald May, an author and psychologist states, “…spiritual growth… cannot be packaged, programmed or taught. Although some new facts and representations may help us along the way, the essential process is one of transformation, not education. It is, if anything, an unlearning process in which our old ways are cleansed, liberated, and redeemed.” Out of this responsibility, we desire that our projected outcomes lead culture shapers and influencers to:
1) Integration- Our desire is to see influencers and culture shapers integrate both an inner and outer journey. The inner journey consists of a state of “being.” It means we come to a place where we discover the magnitude of God’s love for us despite what we do. What we do refers to the outer journey, but an inner journey gives us our identity. We are dearly loved children of God and until we are able to embrace this truth our outer journey means nothing. The knowledge of God requires an outer journey of coming to know Christ through the externals. These externals include, reading scripture, participating in worship, studying the Bible, serving others, and many other external behaviors. The knowledge of self requires an inward journey where issues of the heart can be explored.
2) Intimacy- At the end of each retreat or workshop, we are aware that the intimacy one has with Christ is not our responsibility. Though we do want to create an opportunity for intimacy to take place, the outcome will not always happen spontaneously. For this reason, we will measure our success as a ministry through providing opportunities for follow-up. This follow-up will consist of participants agreeing to convene either through phone, email, or meeting in person at least 3 times during the year after the retreat.
3) Incorporation- After experiencing an intentional created space to be with God in a retreat or workshop it is our desire to see participants incorporate spiritual disciplines into their life. At the core of practicing spiritual disciplines is the inevitability of creating space and time for God. Thus, because of our lack of creating space for God, spiritual disciplines have become a lost art among most evangelical Christians. A resurgence of spiritual depth has risen in recent years because people are tired of religiosity and the same routine. Merely going to church and hearing sermons is not giving people life. John Michael Talbot in his book The Way of the Mystics addresses this religiosity by asking, “Are you experiencing the fullness of Christ, or are you merely snacking on “Christianity lite?” My fear is that most of us, including myself are snacking on “Christianity lite.” We have come to a point in our Christian culture where involvement and information are not enough to make our lives radically different. Therefore, creating space for God by practicing spiritual disciplines can be an effective way to begin aligning our hearts with what God wants for us. If we are reflections of the image of God, then God wants nothing more than for us to become more like Himself. But in order to conform to the image of Christ, Christians must consider the comprehensive history of Christian spirituality.
Description of Objective
|Convene||We research and discover where current needs exist among caregivers and culture shapers.||We convene 15 overnight retreats annually, 150 workshops annually, and 52 contemplative prayer meetings annually.|
|Curate||Develop our relational infrastructure with practitioners and retreat and workshop participants.||Annually we curate relationships with at least 10 seasoned soul care practitioners and 400+ retreat and workshop attendees|
|Create||We invite people into places of beauty by carefully hand picking environments that provide safety and respite for the human soul.||Annually we create at least 15 strategic environments for participants to develop new patterns for living.|
|Cultivate||We carefully craft content that invites participants to come away from rush and hurry so that they might discover new patterns for living (new habits instead of new thoughts) that promote ongoing spiritual flourishing.||We cultivate at least 15 carefully selected Spiritual Formation themes for retreats, publish 20+ annual blogs, 30+ short films, guest speaking for 10+ local and regional organizations.|
|Celebrate||Beyond retreats and workshops, we are inviting people to flourish while living well with the tension of embracing both their dignity and depravity.||Of our 400+ retreat and workshop participants, we offer at least 40 participants deep mentoring, which we know leads to deep impact.|