Episode 1 | Choosing to Walk Together

July 19, 2017

Life Together in Christ: Cultivating Communities for Spiritual Transformation

Season 2: E1 | Choosing to Walk Together

Many of us are carrying a lot of baggage regarding Christian community.  Ruth has often commented that it is one of the most over-promised, under-delivered aspects of the Christian life—which means that Christians who have been deeply involved in church are often the most cynical and disillusioned. In Season 2 of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast, Ruth and Steve will discuss how to cultivate communities where people regularly and routinely experience spiritual transformation. In episode 1, Ruth shares how God led her to the story of the Emmaus Road as a biblical model for transforming community. She unpacks the three nuanced ways of talking about community: Christian community, spiritual community, and transforming community, and also describes what Christian community is not—with a rich discussion of the role community plays in navigating liminal space. 

In this podcast:

Episode 6 | Transformation Through Self-Knowledge and Self-Examination

Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community by Ruth Haley Barton

Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Chapter 6) by Ruth Haley Barton

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Episode 9 | A Rule of Life: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

May 17, 2017

The final episode of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader. Ruth and Steve wrap up season 1 with a lively discussion of how to put it all together in your own sacred rhythms. Ruth confesses her true feelings about rules before she defines a rule of life and shares why it is so important for leaders to have one. Do you put sabbath keeping in the too hard file?  Ruth did until she got run over by a car! Ruth’s final words of season 1 will launch you on a great new journey!

Mentioned in the podcast:

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Mueller

Transforming Center

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Episode 8 | For the Sake of Others

May 10, 2017

Are you a missional or a formational organization? Steve and Ruth take on this dualism. As usual, the conversation begins with looking at Scripture, showing the cause and effect relationship between our formation and the ability to discern the will of God. Ruth finally gets around to defining spiritual transformation and puts a stake in the ground – mission cannot be discerned and cannot be sustained without spiritual transformation. International Justice Mission gets a shout out for their commitment to connecting spiritual transformation and mission. Do you believe you can either have a healthy life or you can live your life for the sake of others, but you can’t have both? There is a third way. Lots to think about in episode 8 of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader.

Digging Deeper into this topic:

Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership, Ruth Haley Barton

Invitation to Journey, M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.

Transforming Center

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Episode 7 | The Art and Practice of Spiritual Discernment

May 3, 2017

Discernment is not a subjective woo-woo experience! Ruth begins episode 7 by explaining why discernment is an art AND a practice. This discussion highlights the unlikely place discernment begins, and why it is important to remember God’s wisdom is often very different than human wisdom. Steve shares his own story of discerning together with other leaders and the surprising win that resulted for his team — transformation. Circling back to an earlier episode on spiritual direction, Ruth gets clear on the role of spiritual direction in the life of a spiritual leader. Facing a big decision? Listen to episode 7 of Season 1 of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader.

Mentioned in the podcast:

Pursuing God’s Will Together, Ruth Haley Barton

Glittering Images by Susan Howatch (Caution: contains some explicit content)

Transforming Center

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Episode 6 | Transformation Through Self-Knowledge and Self-Examination

April 26, 2017

This podcast kicks off with a discussion of the ancient practice of the Examen. In case you are wondering, self-examination is so much more than just asking God to show us our sin. In this rich discussion straight out of Psalm 139, Ruth provides a clear definition of true self and false self and deals with the unsettling truth that most leaders are hired for their false-self strategies. Along with touching on the Enneagram, Ruth shares her own story of wondering if she was falling off the spiritual path only to discovering that this was in fact the spiritual journey. Listen to episode 6 of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader for a glimpse of what the journey of faith really is — because you can’t have a faith journey without faith. 

Digging Deeper into this topic:

Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton

Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton

Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership, Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center

 

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Episode 5 | Honoring the Body as a Spiritual Discipline

April 19, 2017

Ruth draws from Elijah’s story to shed light on the role of the body in the spiritual life. This episode explores the connection between our bodies and our spiritual lives.  Discover the joy of living in your body as a gift from God. Ruth and Steve discuss different practices for honoring God in our bodies, including learning how to live within limits. There is so much joy, life, and energy when we connect our spiritual lives with life in our bodies! Listen with your whole body to Episode 5 of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader.

Mentioned in the podcast:

Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center

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Episode 4 | Engaging the Scriptures for Transformation

April 12, 2017

What happens to a leader’s soul when s/he only engages Scripture for ministry? Steve asks for a friend. ;) What can a pastor or leader do when they are no longer encountering God in Scripture? Join us for an enlightening discussion about the practice of finding yourself in the Biblical story — especially difficult for leaders who want to “make it happen.” Ruth affirms the importance of moving from information to transformation in our approach to Scripture, and emphasizes how important it is for pastors to create space for God to surprise them through Scripture. All this and more in episode 4 of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader.

Mentioned in the podcast:

Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center

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Episode 3 | Prayer - Deepening Our Intimacy With God

April 5, 2017

How does Ruth respond when a pastor admits they don’t know how to pray anymore? You will be surprised. This episode is for those who feel stuck in their prayer even though prayer is part of their job description. Ruth describes transitions in the life of prayer with a rich discussion of intimacy that isn’t about sex — or at least mostly not about sex. :) Ruth shares a liberating way to pray for someone when they ask, “Please pray for me.” Best of all, Ruth ends this episode by guiding you through a prayer practice. Don’t miss Episode 3 of Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader.

Mentioned in the podcast:

Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton

Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership, Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center

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Bonus Episode | Lent : Returning to God with All Your Heart

March 10, 2017

Ruth Haley Barton and Steve Wiens begin the discussion of Lent by talking about the seasons of the church calendar. Each season has unique invitations and keep us connected with Jesus’ spiritual journey while he was on earth. Lent invites us into aspects of transformation that we might not choose on our own, or even know how to choose.  They also discuss some of the unique challenges for leaders during the season of Lent. Whether you have never participated in Lent or wish to re-engage Lent in a fresh way, you will learn something new in this bonus episode of the Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast.

Mentioned in the podcast:
Lent: A Season of Returning, Ruth Haley Barton

Other resources for Lent:

An Invitation to Walk with Christ: Stations of the Cross Prayer Guide, Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center

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Episode 2 | A Leader’s Journey into Silence and Solitude

March 10, 2017

Do you sleep with your phone? You won’t believe who has your number! Ruth and Steve talk about the challenge of technology for leaders who desire to practice silence and solitude. They discuss the unique difficulties leaders face as they enter into solitude and silence. And you will hear more about Ruth’s own journey into solitude and silence. Are you ready to give more control to God? Listen to episode 2 in Season 1: Sacred Rhythms in the Life of the Leader.

Mentioned in the podcast:

Invitation to Solitude of Silence, Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center

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