When meeting with a staff person or member to talk about how they are doing spiritually the hope, desire and prayer is that because of the conversation the staff person or member will have cause to think about and be more intentional in doing something to develop their spiritual “resilience.”
Spiritual wellbeing is just one part of overall wellbeing, but because it is often the hardest to talk about, the hope is this crib sheet will provide support and “aide-mémoire” to make the conversation a little more natural.
It is suggested you do the following:
- Be intentional about the conversation and don’t rely on it cropping up naturally.
- Warn the staff person or member this is what you would like to talk about.
- Stick to the task and don’t get sidetracked.
- Don’t make the first conversation long and difficult.
- Use what you already know about the person’s situation to help the conversation.
- Recognise you may not be the person to ask these questions; they may already have a spiritual director (guide) or an accountability relationship that facilitates their spiritual wellbeing.
- What you want to know is that someone is coming alongside them and if there is no one then you will.
Some staff or members may prefer to use a tool to think and reflect about how they are doing. We offer four options:
- The Cerny Smith tools (requires a facilitator) Link
- A simplified (two versions) self-directed tool Link 1 Link 2
- Some people may prefer to use an external person as a “reflector” such as a spiritual director or coach or an accountability partner.Link
- Others may prefer to just talk with you. This conversation agenda is intended to give you as their PCC some questions you can use to open up the conversation. Link
All the questions are based on others’ work in this area. It is NOT intended that you ask every question. These are provided to give you some options of questions you could use.
They are “open” questions and can be used in any order. There is no need to use them all. What they are intended to do is give you some easily accessed options to fall back on if you need to.
|When have you grappled with your theology of suffering, and are the resulting ideas/conclusions Biblical?|
|Where do you have a habit of attending community worship and prayer?|
|Who are some close Christian friends with whom you can share openly and deeply and provide mutual support?”|
|In what ways do you have a regular habit of personal prayer and studying the Bible?|
|In what ways do you have a regular practice of participating in spiritual retreats, contemplative prayer and receiving spiritual direction?|
|How do you have experiential knowledge of receiving forgiveness from God and from others?|
|When have you been aware of the forgiveness process and able to distinguish forgiving from excusing or glossing over injuries?|
|How have you experienced have a deep experience of being loved and valued by God?|
|How are you accepting of human brokenness as a common experience and are you able to love others (and yourself) when the brokenness is visible rather than being overly condemning?|
|How do you give growing and maintaining close relationships a measure of priority over ministry work?|
|How have your beliefs changed over time? How are they in the process of changing? What season or shape is your faith and spirituality taking right now?|
|What spiritual practices are nurturing to you?|
|What are your biggest doubts and questions?|
|When do/did you hear God’s voice most clearly – now or in the past?|
|What goals would you like to implement in order to be more spiritually healthy?|
|What steps do you need to take in order to make your goals a reality?|
|What resources do you have that will help you with your goal?|
|Three questions to end EVERY session with:Of all that we have talked about, what is most important to you?What do you want to do about this (the most important thing)?How are you feeling about what we have talked about now?|