Using Taketime Meditations to help with my Local Preacher Training

The past year has been challenging as we have all learned to navigate new ways of working, socialising, and learning. I have been stressed and anxious at times and at first I found it harder to follow my normal prayer habits. As much as I have longed to be back in church, I have to say I have loved discovering the amazing content and resources shared by different people online. I have attended trainings and learnt so many new skills, opening up my mind to new opportunities.

Taking more time

One resource I found is Taketime meditations, I find this helps me change pace and slow down. It has helped me discover a deeper meaning from scripture passages. I came across Taketime after a guided meditation on an online course. I am somewhat task-orientated, so I am generally not great at meditation but these short sessions work for me. Introducing Jesus changes it for me, it brings a few moments of space and a sanctuary to rest.

What is Ignatian meditation?

Ignatian meditation introduces stories or prayers as meditations painting a wonderful picture. The practice is ancient, developed by St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) to help people deepen their relationship with God and is a way of spiritually exercising your mind. By imagining a scene, it is possible to see it from different angles, noticing different elements in stories you may or not know. Within these spaces of 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes the revealed scripture introduces you to Jesus as a person you can walk with and talk to.

How it has helped my preaching

After working through a series of meditations I have noticed a change in my preaching. I am able to create narrated storytelling in new ways and I am not scared of the space and silence during talking, it feels calmer. I find that listening to the meditation for passages I am using is inspirational. It creates time for me to just be in that place with Jesus, I can question him. It’s described as a spiritual rather than religious encounter. I am Spirit-led when I have used it as part of my preparation for new services. So, before looking for another commentary or reading around what others say - it may be worth looking at what Jesus would say to you about what you are going to talk about.

Next time you are embarking on a new sermon or act of worship why not take a few moments of time to see into the scripture and exercise the Spirit within you. For me, I am about to take this a step further and train as a practitioner so I may continue and lead others to that still calm voice of God’s Word.

Michaela Barker

Local Preacher in training in the Chorley and Leyland Circuit