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The Hope-Brained Way: Reinterpreting Brokenness Through Reparative Restory
via Trauma-Informed Spiritual Formation

I love it when science proves scripture true. Over the last 20+ years, research in psychology, neurology, and sociology—has proven true the theological implications of Paul's words in Romans 12:2, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Our mind (soul or psyche in Greek) can be renewed. The compromised neuropathways of destructive thoughts, damaged emotions and disordered desires can be repaired, reoriented and restored ... and in doing so, our heart—the integrated center of spirit, soul and body and the seat of our will—comes into closer alignment with the heart of God.


The Hope-Brained Way curates:

  • A biblical foundation for hope, encouraged by faith in a Father's love—"God-Withness" scholarship; encouraging ministry leaders in the formation of an earned secure attachment to God as a secure base from which one can explore in the context of conscious attention to the Word of God; narrated by the exilic return to Exodus.

  • A theological and theoretical foundry for healing and repair, equipped by the grace and truth of God's Son and our Savior, Jesus—"Godward Wilderness" discipleship, individually and corporately in the Church; equipping ministry leaders regarding a safe pathway to navigate pain and distress with curiosity and confidence; constructs reflect the synchronization of Trinitarian theology with attachment theory, sanctification with neuroplasticity, and public theology with narrative practices.

  • Practical rhythms that feed a fountain of human flourishing and resilience, enlivened by the presence, power and providence of the Holy Spirit—"Gospel Witness" apostleship in the world; enlivening mature, empathetic Christian leaders to contend in culture with courage; focusing on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly spiritual rhythms.


The Hope-Brained Way advocates for “hope-brained restory,” composed of an evidence-based system of attachment, pathways and agency (Anthony Scioli and C.R. Snyder). Employing the "3 E's" of trauma, trauma-informed spiritual formation for ministry leaders seeks to:

  • encourage via new EVENTS to encounter the love of God (attachment; foundation for hope)

  • equip via new EXPERIENCES to encode the mind of Christ (pathways, or what I like to refer to as “affective abiding”; foundry for healing and repair)

  • enliven via new lasting EFFECTS to more effectively (and affectively :-)) embody the presence of the Spirit in the lives of others (agency; fountain for human flourishing and resilience)

The Hope-Brained Way sets about the mission of mending emotional brokenness with the gospel—catalyzing hope by resourcing restory—to help people “reinterpret brokenness” in the content of their stories, in the context of God’s story and in community with others’ stories, for the purpose of communicating a better story of reconciliation, regeneration, redemption and restoration. Informed by a process (exilic-return-to-exodus as soul care), principles (12-step recovery discipleship), and practices (Rule of Life spiritual rhythms), hope-brained restory presents "hoping strategies"—trauma-informed spiritual formation rhythms—necessary to form a new pattern for wholeness, emotional healing and identity reformation through gospel reframing and Spirit-filled transformation.

Hope-brained restory facilitates engagement with God's Word, God's Will for each of us in Christ, God's Work as the Church, and God's World. This is how "words create worlds" (Abraham Hershel), words change people and people change worlds. In particular,  HBR seeks to encourage college students in ministry pursuits; equip ministry leaders regarding reparative spiritual formation; and enliven the Church for more effective apostolic ministry to people and communities in crisis. HBR focuses the majority of their initiatives on these three "audiences": college students, ministry leaders, and communities in crisis.


"The Hope-Brained Way REstory Course" group intensives, "The Hope-Brained Way Workshop" (clergy and lay leadership training), and custom hope-brained programming provide a variety of opportunities to engage hope-brained restory.  #REhope #hopework #hopeonpurpose #staytherestorycourse

Potential Future
Hope-Brained Restory Initiatives

  • Hope Shows: Showing Up Shifts the Story Video Testimonies of Transformation When Hope Shows Up

  • Hope Tracks: Presenting Songs in the Night and Hope Rocks Campaign: Turn Up the Music Making the Way for Music Markers (Songs of Testimony) to Transform Marginalized Communities

  • Single Hope: Hope-Brained Restory Course Retreat for Singles

  • Tweet Hope: Social Media Curation of Hope-Filled Stories

Image by Mike Labrum
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