Developing a Contemplative Prayer Life: A Twelve-Step Approach

The Reverend Canon Ian Mobsby

One of the great challenges for all those involved in new forms of ministry, mission, fresh expressions of church, and forming missional communities is that it can be utterly exhausting. Missioners as activists are expected to make things happen often in very difficult contexts with scarce resources. Working in such a vocation can be bruising. One of the great consequences is that missioners can find it very difficult to develop a spiritually nourishing prayer life. Further, it can be that missioners as activists put their identity in doing and can become quite controlling which can result in burn out, loneliness, and ill-health. In this situation it becomes hard to trust God when you have experiences that you interpret as being burnt by God and the Church when such work has become very hard or complex. Many Pioneers carry a sense of guilt because they know that the fulfilling Christian life is about surrendering their lives and work to following God, but in practice find it very difficult to do this—particularly through prayer and meditation.

This five-week development experience seeks to help missioners explore four steps of the twelve-step approach to face themselves and the difficulty of letting go of being in control before God. By doing so, the Missioner can then dig deep with personal insight to rebuild a trusting relationship of surrender to God to then be able to rebuild and develop a personal prayer and spiritual life, and the conditions and foundations to keep this healthier in the longer term.

Ian Mosby Niagara School for Missional Leadership

*Registration for this course is limited to clergy.

What You’ll Learn

This course will introduce you to a twelve-step approach to developing a personal prayer and contemplative spiritual life that invites you to:

  • Try out and develop new forms of prayer practices,
  • Personally reflect in order to increase insight and preparation for developing a healthier prayer and contemplation life,
  • Develop personal journaling habits to reflect your ongoing learning and encounters with God, and
  • Avoid vocational burnout by being more firmly rooted in a nourishing, contemplative prayer life.

How It Works

Join our instructor, Canon Ian Mobsby, and an engaged learning community of fellow clergy and parishioners live online and in online forums.

  • Participate in five two-hour sessions with Ian and the learning community. The learning community will meet weekly on Tuesday mornings, 9:00a – 11:00a (Ontario time), October 5 – November 2.
  • Practice in your context. During the course you will be encouraged to apply your learning in your context to deepen your understanding.
  • Reflect within the learning community. Your new knowledge and experience will become even more meaningful when shared with other learning practitioners like yourself. You will use the online forums between sessions and break-out sessions within learning community gatherings to further integrate your learning.

Meet the Teacher-Practitioner

Canon Ian Mobsby has ten years of experience as a Lay Pioneer and sixteen years as an Ordained Pioneer Minister in the Church of England. He has been involved in founding five Fresh Expressions of Church including three new monastic communities and an alternative worship community in a Parish ‘mixed economy’ context in Central and South London. Ian is also the Guardian of the New Monastic Society of the Holy Trinity a Pioneering fraternity seeking to plant missional new monastic communities in the UK and beyond. Ian has in the past played a part in the National Fresh Expressions team. He is currently pioneering a new more contemplative missional community just south of Blackfriars Bridge in Central London, and the Diocesan Assistant Dean for Fresh Expressions and Pioneer Ministry and the Chair of the Diocese of Southwark Spiritual Formation Group. As a former Occupational Therapist Ian has worked within Mental Health services and complex disability rehabilitation. Ian is fully aware of the consequences and challenges of Pioneer Ministry, who himself experienced serious burnout as a consequence to his own inability to surrender and trust God in a difficult former working missional context.

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Niagara School for Missional Leadership Niagara Diocese Coat-of-Arms

Anglican Diocese of Niagara
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