Contemplative leadership formation
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Global instability, national turmoil, and ecclesial ambivalence mark our current day. What is the church to do? This project emerges as more germane than I ever imagined, proposing the answer to that question as, “Contemplation.” The project begins broadly with the questions, “What is contemplation?” and “Why might contemplation be crucial for Christ-followers?” Contemplation is prayer, presence, and a carriage into loving connection with God, others, and self with whole heart, mind, soul, and body. Having assessed that contemplation is crucial, the project explores, “What does deliberate contemplation imply for the formation of ministry leaders?” a question particularly relevant to my seminary context. The work narrows to a proposed strategy for contemplative leadership development: a four day formation retreat for first year Master of Divinity students, with enneagram content and contemplative framing. Next, research addresses the question of the effectiveness of such a strategy in forming contemplative leaders. By all accounts, the formation retreat strategy turns out to be very effective. The project concludes with a personal accounting of my own prayer journey into contemplation; a journey which has shaped the quality of my relationship with God, the course of my vocation, and the characteristics of my leadership. I firmly believe that if the church becomes ever more present to Christ in every moment, then she will be a transformative presence of Christ in the world.