I have been working on a series of messages for an upcoming retreat. The theme is “Grace Overshadows Shame….always.” I picked four characters in the New Testament who were deeply touched with Jesus’ grace. I have four objects in which the attenders will use to do exercises helping them connect more with their shame and His grace. They say the hardest 18 inches to travel is fro the head to the heart. I am trusting these as bridges to assist people there.

What I am talking about here is process beyond content driven learning. How to get them out of their heads and into the pit of their stomachs. The church is over saturated with content work (listening to sermons, memorizing scriptures, reading, group discussions). Content work is head work and in danger of neglecting heart (emotions, passions, resolve, grief, repentance). The art of helping people move in process is daring if truly taken seriously. The word process often is used merely as discussing something. That’s not what I am taking about here. True process is wild, deep and beyond head stuff.

Each one of these activities has come to me when I am in prayer and preparing for talks. They are not things I have found in books. Sometimes…I take that back. Many times I am afraid to do this. Content based teaching/preaching is so much safer. I am so much more in control. Letting go of control and trusting in the process of the work directed by the activity and the Spirit of God, is a huge step. But I am reminded then so much that I want to be this kind of teacher, in this place of wildness and surrender.

I will explain these exercises in my next post after I come back from leading the retreat. I want it to be a surprise to the attenders. For now list the title and a picture of what I will have them use in each workshop.

Calling out the man with the withered hand

Deconstructing Peter

Instilling Beauty in Mary Magdalene

Leftover Shame and Paul’s thorn