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Effectiveness is enhanced through a shared learning experience; therefore, churches are asked
send 4-6 representatives from their church: 3-5 ruling elders and 1-2 teaching elders (pastors). For admission to ELI, each church must send a pastor and no fewer than three ruling elders.
As a whole:
Reading lists will be sent in early spring 2014 for registered churches with beginning assignments due prior to ELI Immersion Week.
In the church:
Prior to ELI Immersion Week, participants from each church involved in the institute will jointly prepare a history of their congregation in an effort to identify God's story at work in that particular church (its inception, strengths/problems, context, and future).
ELI elders will form a spiritual formation group to function for 12 months following ELI Immersion Week.
Elders will begin to identify God's call upon their congregations and will form a missional response for the church within 12 months following ELI Immersion Week. Elders will engage in the process of spiritual discernment for decision-making.
- Daily time spent alone with God
- Weekly readings (from a bibliography that will be provided and an edited collection)
- Five 2- to 3-page papers over the course of a year, including a personal spiritual autobiography, development of a Rule of Life, outline of the biblical story, personal statement of faith, and final paper reflecting upon God's call upon one's life.
- Spiritual journal, with a minimum of monthly entries
- Weekly to bi-weekly investment in a group of disciples
- Following ELI Immersion Week at Whitworth, at an additional cost of $100 for the 12-month period, elders who so desire will be provided an opportunity, based upon each elder's needs, for quarterly engagement in spiritual direction, mentoring or coaching from an ELI instructor or facilitator.
- Following ELI Immersion Week at Greenville, pastors will receive intensive follow-up support in order to strengthen and undergird their growth as spiritual leaders within the pastor/ruling elder relationship. A booklet will be disseminated to help pastors guide elders for the 12 months following Immersion Week.