"Incline Your Ear, Abbott and Blythe's gift to us all, opens a pathway to spirit-filled mission and life. We are all wise to join them on the journey."
Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations
Incline Your Ear: Cultivating Spiritual Awakening in Congregations introduces faith communities and individuals to the centuries-old principles and practices of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction, as Chad R. Abbott and Teresa Blythe practice and teach it, emphasizes four aspects of the faith journey: becoming more aware of the presence of the Holy in our daily lives, reflecting on that awareness and deepening our relationship with God, discerning where God is leading, and sharing our spiritual gifts with the world.
Abbott and Blythe also share simple ways to evaluate the outcomes of spiritual awakening: "fruits of the Spirit." As a middle judicatory minister and spiritual director who work with clergy, lay leaders, and congregations around issues of spiritual life and energy, the authors long for churches to become vital spiritual communities that meet the needs of people right where they are. They strive to nurture congregations where pastors don't have to do it all; where members are equipped to share their gifts with one another; where leaders rest easy, knowing the board has discerned the vision well; and where all discover the rich array of spiritual food Christianity serves. In these complex and confusing times, the authors extend to us an invitation and hope: "Incline your ear... that you may live." As communities of faith study and experience Incline Your Ear together, they will find new ways to be in love with God and listen to the Spirit.