Photo credit: Ryan Klinck

Photo credit: Ryan Klinck

The Institute for Vital Ministry
A new nonprofit being incubated within MWF
by Ken Crawford

"You are not alone."  

These life giving words are like cool water to a parched spirit for many who serve in ministry – both clergy and laity alike. Living one's faith and spirituality by serving in ministry is an opportunity for incredible joy as we learn with, from and about other people. We can stretch ourselves as we lean into the places and situations that challenge us, perhaps even where we feel a sense of anxiety. Every day can bring new experiences and discoveries as we embrace Community, Loving God and Neighbor, and the Eucharistic Life – the three legged stool of discipleship that we seek to live at the Missional Wisdom Foundation. 

And, it can be really tough. The Institute for Vital Ministry (iVM) was founded to meet people in the midst of their ministry and be "companions on the journey." This companionship from iVM emerges primarily through coaching, pastoral care and spiritual direction offered to individuals, groups, and ministry teams. At the Missional Wisdom Foundation, we like to say "Go out. Go Deep. Go together." Missional is always contextual, and it is always relational. For those of us raised and trained by and in the mainline Christian traditions, this sometimes comes as surprising good news. MWF seeks to respond to proclaim this good news in a variety of ways, including incubating other nonprofits whose vision is complementary to our core. The Institute for Vital Ministry is one such organization. 

The founder, Ken Crawford, has served for over 25 years across multiple denominations and in ecumenical settings, both congregational and nonprofit. Through his own experience, and the research and observation of peers and colleagues, he has developed several resources and processes that support flourishing and wholeness for lay leaders and clergy. His most recent work has been with clergy who trained for and served in settled pastorates, but have found themselves drawn out into multivocal expressions of their ministry that include congregational, non-profit, for-profit, and social entrepreneurship settings.  

At the center of all the work at iVM is an understanding of what we call a "Synchronous Life" - one in which individuals and groups are able to see and pursue wholeness across all of life. We help people move beyond surviving to thriving in ministry by integrating the life-giving energy available in each facet of life into a harmonized system. Too often we live siloed rhythms where our professional, personal and private lives do not overlap – if we can at all help it. Unfortunately, living this way is exhausting, and robs us of the gifts that each domain of life can offer to the rest of who we are and who we are called to be. Drawing upon the skills of coaching, pastoral care, and spiritual direction, working with individuals and groups, we are here to accompany you, because we believe that "wherever your road leads... you don't have to travel alone." 

You can learn more about the work of iVM and Ken's ministry at www.iVitalMinistry.org. If you would like to explore working with a coach or spiritual director, please contact Ken at KCrawford@missionalwisdom.com. 

ABOUT:  Rev. Ken G. Crawford serves on staff with the Missional Wisdom Foundation as a wholistic leadership and life coach to the people who work at The Mix Coworking. He is also part of the leadership team for Anam Cara. Ken was fortunate to work under the guidance of Elaine Heath who served as his DMin thesis advisor. 

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