Things continue to be not-boring in the life of Jennwith2ns. The most recent development is that, after almost seven years at Now Church, I have resigned. (This is raising all sorts of questions about what I’ll call it if I ever blog about it after the resignation effective date, and what I’ll call the new church I’ll be attending.) I’ll be graduating soon and I guess maybe I have ants in my pants or something. Probably no matter where you are, there’s a sense that the grass is greener somewhere else, and while I’m not entirely convinced I’ll find that greener grass, I am getting a more distinct impression than ever before that now is one of those times that I could settle in and do the same thing for the rest of my life, or I could “step out of the boat” as it were, and at least make a stab at doing some of those things that “I’ve always wanted to do” for at least the last three years or so.
One of the things I’ve “recently always” been wanting to do is start a spiritual direction based online and retreat ministry, expanding on what was, until about a month ago, being done in the “Online Spiritual Fitness” groups I was facilitating on Facebook. So over the weekend I began to introduce the idea to these two groups. I guess I’ll introduce it here, too, to see if you have any feedback as well, and I’ll continue to mull over aspects of it here and there, because I’m pretty sure any number of you might have some good ideas, and I’m a firm believer in brainstorm sessions and sometimes allow myself to be a idealist about the democratic process . . .
Here’s the initial question:
By now most of you have probably heard the news that I have resigned from Now Church, effective June 7th. This is happening in conjunction with my graduation from seminary and my desire to get some training in CPE (chaplaincy certification) and Spiritual Direction. I am applying to jobs related to these two (overlapping) fields, but I’m also in the process of discerning the possibility of starting up a spiritual direction nonprofit, incorporating [online] groups like these.
The point of creating a nonprofit around these would be to provide myself with some financial, theological, and personal accountability. I’m aware that this type of format makes scams and cults (or simply a “Jenn-thing” instead of a God thing) an easy “slide.” I want this to be what God is directing, and a place where people can deepen their relationship to Him and the way that plays out in their lives, via community like this as well as one-to-one accountability with me. I don’t want this to be an ego-fueled endeavour on my part. I just believe God has given me some spiritual coaching skills that hopefully He will use in people’s lives to a greater extent in the near future.
At the same time, I will need this company to be something with an income that can pay me. Up to this point, Now Church has been my “funding organisation.” Apart from Now Church, this nonprofit will have to be my source of income for this type of ministry. I would expect that mutual online support communities like these existing ones would continue to be offered free of charge. But I’m curious to know what additional resources you think I could add that you (or people like you) might be willing to pay for. More teaching? Classes? Scheduled one-to-one appointments (google or skype or in person)? Retreats? Thanks for the feedback! I’m all ears!