Brain Science and Pastoral Ministry

Brain Science and Pastoral Ministry

Many congregations put a lot of resources towards discipleship. Through training,book teaching, scripture study and memorization, and small groups, congregations hope to see transformation in the lives of those they serve. What happens when those attempts at discipleship do not bear the results that were hoped for? The congregation invests in another program without identifying why the initial program was not fruitful. In the book The Other Half of Church, Jim Wilder and Michel Hendricks argue that discipleship in the west has primarily centered around left-brained activities that do not produce the transformation that requires the whole brain. 

Wilder, a clinical psychologist, and Hendricks, a discipleship pastor, share their experience with discipleship that includes four key elements, relational joy, secure attachment, well-developed group identity and healthy correction. This method of discipleship allows for right- and left-brained engagement which leads to long-term transformation. 

You might wonder, what’s the difference here? How is this theory of discipleship different from many others on the market? Brain science – Wilder’s work in clinical psychology – coupled with Hendrick’s experience in pastoral ministry come together to create a discipleship theory that works with modern brain science to transform lives, and it all revolves around healthy relational attachment. 

This book is for the clergy leader, lay leader, parent, spouse, partner, active congregant, or volunteer. Though it is written from an evangelical Christian perspective, those from other traditions can apply the principles to their life and work in their faith communities. 

To learn more about this relationship between brain science and pastoral ministry, take a look at this upcoming live online workshop.