Seen What Recipients of Eleven:28 Soul Care Have Experienced in 2019

Eyes are the window into our souls.

Our deepest selves are revealed in our eyes; emotions can't hide there.

Eleven:28 has seen into the eyes of over 200 church leaders in 2019. These eyes betrayed grief, demonstrated weariness, filled with tears, and danced with laughter.

Come hear their stories.

The office of a church staff is a place where the shared experience of every church member finds an emotional and spiritual resting place. The joy and pain of each birth, wedding, divorce, graduation, illness, camp, worship assembly, prayer service, and funeral in each member's life can be found laying on desks, stashed in closets, sitting in chairs, and filling email inboxes.

You laid that life experience at the feet of the person who is your pastor and priest, inviting them to walk alongside them. They have dutifully helped you carry those experiences to the feet of Jesus.

Church leaders have their own joy and pain, too. Eleven:28 walks with them, helping them carry their burdens and yours. This is not something that their church family can do for them. They need a soul care provider to walk with them. We call these staff-wide soul care relationships, "Partnerships."

"Soul care allows me to experience peace in the midst of disappointment, gratitude in the midst of stress, perseverance in the midst of suffering, confidence in the midst of criticism, and a sense of calling in the midst of busyness." - Stephen Corbett, Associate Minister
"Soul care matters to me because it set me on a positive footing in ministry. I have experienced a healthy relationship with our church, staff, and leadership. A significant part of that is because I began practicing spiritual rhythms that I learned from Eleven:28 from the get go. I have watched as others around me have not been so lucky." - Summer Morris, Children's Minister
"Everything I do runs and depends on the state of my soul. If that's not healthy, my thoughts are not healthy, my actions are not healthy, or the energy I give is not healthy. But when I tend to my soul, I see I am less selfish and am able to notice God working in me and in the world." - Josh Hardcastle, Student Minister
"I've seen pastors on my staff who were on the brink of spiritual breakdown stabilize and find spiritual sanity. And I've seen elders become more aware of the Spirit and of their calling to shepherd in a healthy way." - Jeff Hubbard, Lead Minister

Across the United States, dozens of women have shared their stories with one another - stories of the joy, heartache, loneliness, and gift of serving churches. We call them "Covenant Groups." Meeting monthly, they practice spiritual disciplines, form deep friendships, and share their ministry journeys.

Dallas Covenant Group Members
"Soul care is important because I need to make sure I am being fed spiritually so I can in turn can feed and minister to others." - Beverly Ritz, Children's Minister
"See this smile on my face? That's me after being with other women who've shared with each other the realities of women who are serving on the staff of a church." - Lauren Carnathan, Children's Minister
Dallas Covenant Group
"Soul care matters because I take care of a lot of souls." - Laurie Templeton, Children's Minister
"Soul care matters to me because I can't draw others to Jesus and teach about him if I am not showing others Jesus." - Kim Lowe, Children's Minister
Houston Covenant Group Members
"Soul care matters because I am loved for who I am, not what I do." - Cynthia Ownby, Teaching Minister and Covenant Group Leader
"Soul care helps me make space for what matters most." - Darlene Willis, Associate Minister
"Personally, the ministries of Eleven:28 have saved me from pastoral burnout and depression. Being a part of a covenant group has given me a community of people who support me and accept me just as I am." - Kelly Edmiston, Student Minister

Spiritual Directors help us connect with God and with others through their training in the spiritual disciplines, their innate and practiced ability to listen, and their experience in the journey we call "discipleship."

Through our team of spiritual directors led by Rhesa, eleven:28 provides those fellow travelers in group settings that we call "Sacred Communities" and through individual spiritual direction.

I’ve seen a strong, genuine connection form between co-laborers in our Sacred Community... in some cases between folks who had not previously met. A strong sense of camaraderie, empathy and community has formed among us, which is surprising given that we interact only periodically, and in short, contained blocks when we do. It’s been a great blessing to me in my own journey this year. - Max Chance, Preacher
I count down the days between sessions. Rhesa is a steady voice that helps me control the chaos of ministry, reigns in the self-doubt, and saves me from isolation. I especially appreciate how she has equipped me with spiritual discipline techniques so I can experience God on the most personal level. - Amanda Box, Associate Minister

To be SEEN is to know that our souls are not only visible to God, but to another trusted traveler who sees us as God sees us.

This is the work of eleven:28 - to SEE those whose lives are too often either invisible to their churches or laid bare before their churches.

Please join us as we seek out those who God will bring our way in 2020, hoping that they will be seen as God sees them, even if only for a few moments.