Below you will find the video and audio from Corey Garris, a reflection on the Faithwalking process at Mile High Vineyard from Chris Knudsen, and a personal testimony from one of their participants.
audio version available below
A Faithwalking Reflection, by Chris Knudsen
As a representative for the Vineyard, I have the privilege of seeing the Faithwalking process grow into many different Vineyards all around the country. I have the pleasure of hearing stories of pastors and leaders turning over a new way of being because of the way Faithwalking has impacted their lives. For instance, one Faithwalking participant told me that their staff meetings were different and their staff members were different. He said their staff now trust one another because they allow each other to say what is so for them, and that this allows for everyone to be heard without the angst of seeking approval or fear of being let go. Over and over, the testimonies are similar – pastors and leaders are able to communicate differently because they are taking a look at what is happening on the inside. Faithwalking offers a new way of communicating because it offers a new way of being. For many of the participants who have completed Faithwalking 201 the consensus is similar, in that there is a new sense of freedom and liberation for a new way of being, and this goes against the way of what has always been.
Thus far we have taken Faithwalking into five congregations. In those five churches we continue to run Faithwalking 101 retreats and offer the 201 experience. A couple of those churches have had two or three Faithwalking 101 retreats followed by the 201 experience. Some churches are newer to the process and are currently in their 201 experience but have scheduled their second round of Faithwalking 101 retreats in the fall and winter of this year and early 2019. Our goal is help each church in the Vineyard become self-sustaining with regard to the Faithwalking process. In addition, we are scheduled to be in England in early fall of this year to expand Faithwalking beyond the United States and into the UK.
Currently, I’m in the process of building up our coaches. As Faithwalking continues to be a means by which our church and other churches disciple, we are in need of many coaches. Consistency in the quality of training is important, as coaching is critical for the overall growth, health, and development of Faithwalking within our systems. Personally, I believe coaching is what helps unlock the Faithwalking work. For me, this has been true in two ways – for one, as a participant, being coached was what stabilized and kept the process going – and second, as a coach myself, coaching has meant “trying on” many of the concepts I learned during the 201 and 202 experienced. I believe anyone can be coach and that everyone should try on coaching, because coaching gives us the opportunity to practice the skills we have learned – listening to understand, managing our anxiety, asking thoughtful questions, and growing in differentiation – in the midst of those we are coaching. Despite my belief that everyone should be a coach, I also want to ensure that coaches have what they need to be a strong coach. As such, my work is currently in training, monitoring, and nurturing new coaches.
A Testimony from a Participant from Mile High Vineyard
I went into Faithwalking knowing it was something Jesus was asking me to do before becoming a parent. I didn’t realize how much work would go into getting freed up from ways of being and seeing the world that I’d inherited from my parents. Continuing the journey of seeing God as the ultimate parent, and myself as his beloved child, has been quite a process.
Before Faithwalking, I operated on autopilot out of semi-unconscious vows (“I can’t let people see who I really am or they will reject me,” “I have to protect myself,” “I need to be self-sufficient,” etc.). Faithwalking has unpacked those vows, helped me travel into the layers below to identify the situations that wounded me, and see what Jesus’ truth is in each situation. Living out of that truth into new counter-vows and developing a set of guiding principles is a process I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. But now I have a framework and language that not only helps me but is rippling out to my family system, my coworkers, my marriage and my friendships, as I pursue authenticity and whole-hearted living, acknowledge my needs and limitations, and share with others what I am learning. I like Faithwalking because it provides common language that anyone, regardless of their relationship with Jesus, can connect to and see themselves reflected in, and I’ve had friends from very different spiritual backgrounds share that they really appreciate hearing about this process.
I’ve had to face grief as I’ve realized how my autopilot has wounded others around me through the walls I put up, my fear, and my tendency to debate instead of dialogue when I feel unsafe. I’ve taken steps to repair that damage, try to listen well to others, and face up to the impact of my actions. I’m committing to this life-long process of keeping open about what I don’t know, asking Jesus to transform what I do, and doing spiritual workouts that connect me to Him.
My current Guiding Principles (they continue to evolve):
I live FROM, not FOR approval, as a beloved child of God, and can rest in this.
- I am cherished and a delight.
- I will not be abandoned. I reject the idea that I have to make things easy and avoid conflict or the people close to me will leave me.
- I can give and receive love (“Be love, be loved”)
- I can celebrate with joy and gratitude
- I can trust all will be well
- I can rest and not strive
- This speaks the gospel to my Enneagram “2-ness”
I am responsible TO, not FOR others…and FOR myself. (KINDNESS to self and others)
- love with kindness and compassion
- respond with differentiation
- foster belonging/inclusion/equity
- set boundaries (but not out of fear of others controlling me)
- care for myself (body, soul, spirit: “love your neighbor as yourself”)
- “4-time”- doing the things that recharge me
- my choices and responses
- abiding in Jesus and my journey of faith
- asking for help (not being self-sufficient)
- keeping an open heart
I seek real wholeness and well-being not just appearance.
- live in the light without shame
- honesty with self and others
- welcome challenge/conflict as an opportunity for growth
- realize my real, messy process is a gift (not “too much/not enough”)
- develop into a non-anxious presence that brings the peace of the kingdom
- allow Jesus to transform me through connection with him
I stretch into grace and truth.
- Celebrate the dynamic ocean of life-long growing and learning with Jesus, and allow others to have their journey of discovery
- OBSERVE–> THINK/FEEL–> PRAY–> RESPOND
- Galileo Prayer (curious, non-judgmental, relational and bless their journey when responding in truth)
I pursue sonship and stewardship.
- There is abundance for TODAY and grace for TOMORROW (no credit)
- Sonship: As a child of God, I have FREEDOM to imagine, dream, adventure, explore, be creative, enjoy, use big faith, make “impossible lists” and live in abundance
- Stewardship: As a caretaker of what belongs to God, I have RESPONSIBILITY to steward resources, plan, work hard, set goals, use delayed gratification and wisdom