Zoe-Life offers a variety of topics/foci–
promoting discussions about the ends and means of spiritual formation in Christian community. Among those we have facilitated are…
- Or we can visit about engaging a spiritual formation topic of your choosing.
We are also available for pastors and congregations wanting to engage in more intentional conversations regarding the development and implementation of a plan for a more intentional, ongoing program of spiritual formation in their ministry setting.
Having honed in on a topic or a focus for your program/event, the next question is one of “format” — the shell or container in which you hope to explore and engage the topic.
In a nutshell, the question could be asked: “do you seek a shorter program (offering a ‘flyover’ orientation or overview of a topic) or are you looking for a deeper immersion in a topic?”
Rueben Job (cf., Spiritual Life in the Congregation: A Guide for Retreats) outlines at least four distinct types of spiritual retreats or experiences : (1) dialogical, (2) personally guided, (3) preached, and (4) private. “Each has similarities to the others,” he writes, “and yet each has many distinctive qualities. Because this is true, it is important to be clear about focus and audience before deciding which kind will be useful.”
is available to assist you
and your congregation/congregants
with any of these formats–
- offering suggestions and guiding texts or resources for a private retreat
- Or, bringing leadership or guidance to preaching/teaching, dialogical, or personally guided events.
The distinction between “seminars” and “workshops” might be helpful here as you are considering a “preaching/teaching event” and a “dialogical” event:
- Seminars (along the lines of what Job calls “preaching or teaching” events) provide an introduction to and overview of a subject — with some room for questions & answers at the end of sessions as well as participant reflection. Given their nature as “overview”, workshops tend to be shorter in length — ranging anywhere from one to three hours in length. (To borrow from Job, this form of programming is an easy entrance for individuals who have never had such an experience before.)
- Workshops (along the lines of what Job calls “dialogical” events) tend to be longer and “fuller” in nature. To borrow directly from Job: the “rely more heavily upon interaction of the participants and may be a natural next step for persons who have had some experience as participants or as leaders in a preached or taught [setting]. Dialogue is the center around which the activities of this kind of event revolve. The design includes some input times by the leader and usually involves some specific questions to guide the discussion of the small groups.”
Inevitably, the question(s) of cost arise.
A few years ago,
we developed a
“Fee and Cost Schedule”
that conveys hopes for the ways that basic costs would be covered as we facilitated an event — elements like…
* meals & lodging, and
* some sense of compensation for our work.
It’s hard, though, for us to just throw it out there — without some sense of modification:
- Yes, the schedule serves as a good working guide
as we work with larger entities —
as, e.g., Districts or Annual Conferences
or larger congregations (with healthier budgets).
- With mid-size churches and smaller,
it’s difficult (bordering on ridiculous)
to suggest the terms defined in the schedule.