VOCA: The LifeBridge Workshop walks Pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders through a practical process of hearing God’s VOCA [Latin for “voice”] afresh. Whether you are experiencing burnout, or simply need to refocus your life and ministry, VOCA can help.
Over the past 20 years, Bridge Ministries, Inc. (in Michigan) has coached hundreds of Christian leaders through a powerful process known as LifeBridge.
Now, the VOCA Workshop is our way of making LifeBridge available to Pastors and missionaries around the world through online coaching communities. We believe that your calling is powerful and, once fully grasped and activated, will deeply impact your church, community, and culture for the Kingdom of God!
Our mission over the next 10 years is to bring VOCA to one million Christian leaders–in every state in the USA and around the world–so that they, and those in their ministries, might help fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ!
VOCA is not a mystical process. It IS about allowing God’s Spirit and God’s Word — especially the pattern of the call of Abraham (Genesis 12 and 15), of Moses (Exodus 3-4), and of Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 4) — to deeply intersect the unique person God has designed you to be.
Pastors and missionaries are facing an epidemic of “ministerial fatigue.” They battle confusion — overload — burnout — inability to take a personal retreat — conflict — marital issues — immorality. According to a recent study on Pastoral health, 57% of pastors feel discouraged, stressed, and fatigued (Fuller Institute of Church Growth Pastoral Research Report, 2016) .
LifeBridge emerged from Dr. John Studebaker’s intense struggles with ministerial burnout in the late 1980s to early 1990s. By discovering God’s unique call on his life, he was able to overcome his deep burnout and begin to walk in the joy and energy provided by this call. Then, in his Ph.D. studies (Trinity International University), John was able to examine biblical methodologies for helping others find and fulfill their unique calling. What resulted is a high-impact tool for helping Christian men and women to reach their full potential in their life, faith, and ministry.
John is a Lecturer in Christian Theology at Hillsdale College in Michigan, where he teaches a variety of courses, including Theology of Calling, Vocation, and Work. He is also a certified Life Coach (in the Tom Patterson LifePlanning process) and Executive Director of the BMI Oasis (a retreat center for Christian workers in Michigan).
VOCA: THE LIFEBRIDGE WORKSHOP IS BRIDGE MINISTRIES, INC.’S PROPRIETARY PROCESS THAT INCORPORATES TEACHING VIDEOS, STUDY GUIDE WORKSHEETS, A CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNITY (FACEBOOK PAGE), PARTNERSHIP/ACCOUNTABILITY, GROUP COACHING, AND PERSONAL COACHING.
IT IS DIVIDED INTO 3 INTERRELATED SECTIONS:
Your PURPOSE allows you to re-orient each activity in life toward your “upward call” in Christ. You’ll write a Purpose Statement, which combines your origin, destiny, and identity in Christ. Through the group coaching session you will begin to activate your Purpose Statement in your personal life, family life, and ministry life.
Your MISSION is distinct from, but energized by, your Purpose. You’ll write a personal Mission Statement based on your unique God-given design–your Heart Motivations, Spiritual Gifts, Talents, and Passions. The group coaching session will enable you to make this statement clear and actionable. You’ll use this statement to create boundaries in your life, overcome roadblocks, and focus your daily activities around life-themes.
VISION allows you to “hear God’s voice” as you create a focused, practical plan for your personal life, relationships, and ministry. You’ll “looking ahead” at the next 12 months and ask God to expand your vision. You’ll then create “Vision Statements,” goals and “faith steps,” thus developing step-by-step plans for activating your mission on a daily basis.
You will work with a partner (during and after the workshop) to activate your plan, to re-assess your plan on a regular basis, and to encourage one another to continue in this life-giving journey!
We call it LifeBridge because we are imparting a model, centered on hearing God’s voice, that creates a high quality of life. Participants are then re-energized to serve Christ as the unique “bridge” for the gospel he has designed them to be!
1The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”
2“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-2).
God did not only have a unique, specific call for Abraham. He has one for you as well. Ministerial burnout, vocational confusion, relational conflict, and even family struggles are almost always resolved through a fresh, specific, practical hearing and activation of God’s call.
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