During fourteen years of ministry, God’s Spirit has grown our love of people, particularly those people who God has called to lead others in some way. We served for twelve years as associate pastors in the Presbyterian church. Early in ministry it became unavoidably clear that our hearts and closest relationships, especially our marriage, needed help. The Spirit worked in many ways to lead us in the direction of restoration. We received a significant part of our healing through the listening and care of Christian guides.
As we became more whole (though still in process) God began to send other Christian leaders to us who were also in need of help. Leaders of every kind- parents, elders, small group leaders, mission leader, and youth pastors came to us with heavy hearts. They were struggling with their marriages, with addictions, with theological dilemmas and with conflict with their bosses and ministry teams. One day our eyes were opened to just how many leaders we had walked with in various places of emotional pain and relational conflict. We began to ask, “Is the Spirit calling us to do this in a more focused and whole-hearted way?”
During this time Mark and I were also leading spiritual retreats. Some of them were more traditional in nature, but a new form of retreat was beginning to evolve for us and become our passion. This form of retreat involves creating spaces for people to draw away from the busyness of life and be still. These spaces wove together Scripture, art, nature, questions, and conversation to guide people in listening for the Spirit. We discovered that many people, especially Christian leaders, were hungry for just this kind of space.
As we talked with one another and prayed our new call became more clear. Our passion is to see ministry leaders, especially those of the next generation, deeply experience the heart of Christ’s goodness in the dark and broken places of their lives. We get excited about coming along side these leaders with the help, healing, and hope of Christ so they may live and labor with hearts that are whole and alive through rhythms of rest. We discovered that The People Resource Team of The Navigators share a similar passion. They’ve been doing this kind of ministry for 20+ years and for the last 2 years we’ve had the joy of joining them!
We are also grateful for God’s call to participate in raising up the next generation of leaders by knowing Jesus and making him known in our relationship with our our three wonderful children, Caleb (9), Evan (7), and Cariann (4).