Eden Project Logo (Dark)

Eden Lead Ministry Cohort (EL#2)

EL#2 Cohort: Members Only Details

If you have a question not answered here contact: Lindy Gschwend – lgschwend@edenteam.org

Your Retreat Facilitators

Chuck Gschwend

Chuck Gschwend is the Director of Spiritual Formation at the Eden Project.


A trial attorney, pastor, and trained spiritual director, Chuck is a seasoned retreat leader and is passionate about helping God’s people feel more at home in the love of God. Chuck is now an empty-nester living in Weatherford, Texas with his wife Lindy. They have three adult children.


Chuck has earned his JD, University of Arkansas School of Law; MABS Dallas Theological Seminary; Certificate in Spiritual Direction, LTI’s Selah program, affiliated with Gordon-Conwell Seminary.

Lindy Gschwend

Lindy Gschwend is the Eden Lead Administrative Assistant.


A wife, a mom, and a recovering “Role Player”, Lindy is a new Eden Lead Cohort Facilitator and desires to see more people heal their broken God Images. Lindy lives in Weatherford, TX with her husband Chuck. They have three adult children. 


Lindy has earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

Abe Meysenburg

Abe Meysenburg has served as the Pastor for Shepherding at Summit Crossing Community Church in Huntsville, Alabama since 2018. 


Abe previously served in the same role at Soma Tacoma in Tacoma, Washington, where he and his family lived for 19 years.  Abe is married to Jenn, and they have four children–Abby, Julia, Luke, and Noah.  Abe loves to read, listen to music, hike, walk his dog, exercise, ride his bike, eat amazing food, travel, and meet new people.

Lodging & Travel Details

  • Plan to arrive by 3pm on the first day of each retreat.
  • Plan to leave no earlier than 12:30pm on the last day of the retreat.
  • Emergency Contact(s) to provide to your family: Chuck Gschwend (870)-897-1566 and Lindy Gschwend (870)-273-8128
  • Airport Info: The closest airport is Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO).

    NOTE: United, American, and Delta are the best airlines for Greensboro airport.

  • Uber/Lyft info: Approximately $36-40 per ride and is a thirty minute ride.

Location and Dates Details!

St. Francis Springs Prayer Center

477 Grogan Road Stoneville, NC 27048

September 9-12, 2024 | Knowledge of God

January 6-9, 2025 | Knowledge of Self

April 7-10, 2025 | Pace and Practices

Eden Lead Year – Content Syllabus

Your full engagement throughout the entire year looks like…

Before the Knowledge of God (KOG) Retreat

Please do not share, copy or distribute without permission. 

Everything in the Pre-work Reader is summarized below:

  • Complete Invitation to Retreat | A Self-guided Reflection, Chuck Gschwend. [15 minutes]
  • Complete God is Love | A Self-Guided Reflection, Chuck Gschwend. [20 minutes]
  • Reflect on this question, “Am I a discerning leader?” as you listen to the Eden Pace and Practice podcast episode: The Discerning Leader. [60 minutes]
  • Reading “with God.” Experiment reading your Bible “with” God, not just “about” God. Pay attention to what this feels like.
  • Walking “with God.” Take a slow 45-minute walk outside while asking God, “What are you inviting me into today?” God desires that his sheep learn to hear his voice. (John 10:1-4)
  • Read through Eden Lead’s Knowledge of God Retreat key Scriptures (NIV): 2 Corinthians 3:7-4:6; I John 3:1-3, 4:7-21; John 14-17. 
  • Read The Relational Soul by Richard Plass and James Cofield, Chapters 1-3, 9.  [This book will be mailed to you in a welcome packet.] [60 minutes]
  • Complete the Attachment Survey and bring the results with you to the first retreat. [10 minutes]
  • Read Love Misunderstood, Nathan Wagon. [5 minutes]
  • Read Transformational Love, Steve Porter. [30 minutes]
  • Read We Are Made To Attach, Nathan Wagnon. [This article will be mailed to you in a welcome packet.] [20 minutes]
  • Submit a one-page reflection paper based on your Pre-work reading. [45 minutes] [Due Wednesday before each retreat.] Instructions for how to write a Reflection paper found here. 
Before the Knowledge of Self (KOS) Retreat

The Knowledge of Self Pre-work Reader will be available one week after the KOG Retreat concludes.

Everything in the Pre-work Reader is summarized below:

  • Read Surrender to Love by David Benner. As you do, reflect on our Knowledge of God Retreat. Reflecting on—not merely reading—Benner’s book will gently guide you deeper into God’s love for you.
  • Complete Rule of Life Phase 2: Examining Your Current Realities.
  • Reflect on your journey of faith as you read The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith by Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Geulich, Chapter 6.  [15 minutes]
  • Extra Chair Prayer Practice: Sit down in a chair, place an extra chair in front of you, and in faith see Jesus in the chair. Then just speak to him, and listen in the same way you would with a trusted friend. [It’s not spooky, because as Immanuel, he promises that he will always be with you. In addition, Jesus repeatedly promised his disciples that “his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (Jn 10:4)]
  • Engage weekly with your Eden triad after:
    • Reading Eden’s Triad Guide by Duke Revard and listening to assigned Ever Present podcast episodes on fear and shame
    • Watching the triad demo video to see a triad in action.
  • Consider the following recommended sacred rhythms:
    • Daily
      • Praying the Prayer of Surrender [Bookmark Prayer].
      • Practicing 5-20 minutes of silence each morning.
    • Weekly
      • Meeting with your triad.
      • Practicing 24 hours of Sabbath.
    • Monthly
      • Meeting with your spiritual director.
      • Consider engaging with God through silence & solitude for four hours.
  • Read Eden Lead’s Knowledge of Self key Scriptures (NIV): Ephesians 4:17-24; Colossians 3:1-11; and Galatians 5:16-26.
  • Read Chapters 4-7 in The Relational Soul by Plass and Coffield. [2 hours]
  • Watch the video: Exploring Desire by Trevor Hudson.
  • Read Chapter 1, Desire: A People of Longing,  in The Soul of Desire by Curt Thompson. [25 minutes]
  • Listen to Edenverse Podcast Ep. 11: We’re a Bunch of Statues [Biblical Anthropology]
  • Read Journeying Home Toward Your True Self in Christ by Chuck Gschwend. [20 minutes]
  • Read Chapter 1, Transformational Knowing of Self and God, in The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner.  [20 minutes]
  • Consider downloading the Tether app on your smartphone. Add your Triad Weekly and Spiritual Direction Monthly to the “Habits” section. Add any additional practices you’re engaged in as well. These relational practices are the initial building blocks in your personalized Rule of Life. We will be leading you to build out a full Rule of Life through the remainder of our Eden Lead year. [Note: Duke uses this app. Chuck does not. Chuck likes paper.]
  • Submit a one-page reflection paper based on your Pre-work reading. [45 minutes] [Due Wednesday before each retreat.] Instructions for how to write a Reflection paper found here. 
Before the Pace & Practice Retreat

The Pace & Practice Pre-work Reader will be available one week after the KOS Retreat concludes.

Everything in the Pre-work Reader is summarized below:

  • Read The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner. As you do, reflect on our Knowledge of Self Retreat. Reflecting on—not merely reading—Benner’s book will gently guide you in being less lonely for yourself, so you will know more of yourself to present to God. Also pay attention to seeing yourself the same way Jesus sees you. 
  • Reflect on your pace of life by reading Something is Deeply Wrong and completing the Hurry Sickness Audit contained therein. (From The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer) [20 minutes]
  • Reflect on how your theology is impacting your pace of life by processing Questions that Unhurry Leaders by Alan Fadling (from Chapter 5 of his book The Unhurried Leader). [25 minutes]
  • Complete the feedback practice: “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?” [30 minutes]
  • The clarity of your calling impacts your pace. Therefore, read Chapter 10: You are Called in James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful You. Make sure to engage the portion on soul training at the end of the chapter. [25 minutes]
  • Continue to work your “relational muscles” through your weekly triad and monthly spiritual direction.
  • Continue to grow in practicing a Weekly Sabbath.
  • Read Eden’s Pace & Practice key Scriptures: Genesis 1; Psalm 90; Psalm 92; and 2 Corinthians 4.
  • Read The Relational Soul by Plass and Cofield, Chapters 8-10. [60 minutes]
  • Read Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley Barton, Chapter 8: Spiritual Rhythms in Life of a Leader. [30 minutes]
  • Listen to the Eden’s Pace & Practice Podcast (Episodes 2 and 3) with Ruth Haley Barton. [60 minutes]
  • Read “I look at him, He looks at me, and we are happy.” (From Practicing the Way, John Mark Comer). [10 minutes]
  • Continue to work through Eden’s Rule of Life Builder.
    • Finish Phase 3, Draft Your Rule of Life. 
    • Receive the feedback recommended in Phase 4, Share your Rule of Life.
  • Submit a one-page reflection paper based on your Pre-work reading. [45 minutes] [Due Wednesday before each retreat.] Instructions for how to write a Reflection paper found here. 


Once you have been accepted, secured your spot with some form of payment, and been given access to this landing page, you should:

  1. Secure a spiritual director. The very best way to start this journey is engage a Spiritual Director once a month. We encourage you to begin meeting with them as soon as you can, but for sure to have your first meeting by the end of August. Read further down in the FAQs if you have more questions about spiritual direction.
  2. Calendar all the important dates for the cohort using the Participant's Calendar located in the FAQ's. 
  3. Review the Pre-work and contact us if anything is unclear. Each retreat includes a PDF Pre-reader of curated articles and chapters to frame up what you’ll be learning and experiencing at the retreat.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Eden Triads by reading Eden’s Triad Guide (will arrive in a gift box approximately one month before the first retreat) and listening to episodes 1-3 of the Ever Present Podcast.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the Eden Lead Year Content Syllabus. While this Syllabus overviews the individual retreats Pre-work, it does not give you access to the actual content. You will receive a Pre-retreat Reader (in PDF format) for each retreat from which you will actually engage this material. You can also find the PDF readers linked in the above syllabus.

Please bring:

  • Casual, comfortable clothes including a jacket for cold meeting rooms, rain or walks
    outdoors. Keep in mind that travel out of doors is necessary between bedrooms and meeting rooms.
  • Basic toiletries such as body soap and towels are provided. However, please bring your own shampoo as well as your regular toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste, medications, etc.
  • Your Bible
  • Your Triad Guide (This was mailed to you in your welcome gift)
  • Optional items for your consideration: reusable water bottle and flashlight.

Eden Lead retreats are a safe place to process your life and to connect more deeply with God and others. We will utilize “pop-up rules” as temporary aids in creating a unique experience aligned with our purpose for retreating. Unlike etiquette that requires specific cultural knowledge and is often not spelled out (i.e. “You’re just supposed to know.”), pop-up rules are shared at the beginning of a retreat so everyone is clear and aligned in how we will create this
unique moment in time.

1. Be open to God surprising you. Ask him to show you things and give you experiences that will help you become the person he designed you to be.
2. Unplug from technology to be fully present with God and others. Being “alone together” with technology or other counterfeit simulations of connection will not help us connect more deeply with God, ourselves, and others. 
3. No alcohol/stimulants. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and slows down brain function and neural activity. We’ll eliminate substances that don't aid in connection.
4. Limit networking and “shop talk.” We are on retreat to be souls before God, not productive people succeeding.
5. Refrain from giving unsolicited advice; it can feel like criticism.
6. Participate, but don’t dominate. Leave space for everyone to speak.
7. Commit to confidentiality. Confidentiality is essential for open sharing and building trust among participants.
8. Be present. Do your best to stay focused on the present moment. While both the past and the future are important, stay with what is happening in your body and soul in the here and now, as much as possible.
9. Engage fully. We may ask you to engage practices that are new or to reflect on things that challenge you. Trust the process by engaging fully even through mild discomfort or disorientation.
10.Be patient with yourself on the journey. Don't worry about resolving everything, simply take the next step God is inviting you into.

We are formed, malformed, and reformed in relationships, not primarily by reading or thinking. Eden Triads are weekly meetings with three people of the same gender whose goal is to seek God together. Members learn to show up with each other and God to acknowledge the truth about their inner selves. Genuine spiritual friendships will develop as people grow in vulnerability in this safe environment. During our Eden Lead Year each participant will meet weekly with an Eden Triad and meet during the retreat with a Triad as well. We’ll train you on how to engage with your Triad as you build transformational relational skills on retreat.
We want the selection of how to participate in an Eden Triad to be clear for you. If you have any questions or confusion regarding your particular situation, please reach out to us. We are happy to help you decide what is the best fit for you. Here are three options:
  1. Ideal Option: Sign up with two other local spiritual friends to experience the Eden Lead Year together, both at home (weekly) and while on Retreat.
  2. Second Option: Participate at the Retreat with an assigned triad and recruit two other local friends to meet with you weekly in person (even though they are not part of the Eden Lead Year.) 
  3. Third Option:  Meet with your Triad both at retreat and between retreats, online. 

A spiritual director is someone who meets with you one-on-one for an hour each month to help you “pay attention to the active presence of God that is in you, around you, and for you.” Our curated list of recommended spiritual directors have gone through years of training to care for the souls of God’s people. They meet a huge need in the body of Christ. Leaders need regular time that is spacious and quiet in order to attend to the voice of God. Sadly, the soul is often the most neglected part of the leader’s life. It is a tragic irony that spiritual leaders, entrusted with the care of other’s souls, usually do not adequately take care of their own. Here is a very short article that explains more.

A typical session with a trained spiritual director will involve them sitting with you in prayer and with curiosity seeking to discover what God is inviting you into with him in the moment or season. Our team has found our personal Spiritual Directors to be a great help for growing in intimacy with God and in spiritual discernment. Here is Ruth Haley Barton’s personal story of why she began to meet with a Spiritual Director.


Spiritual direction is not the same thing as coaching or counseling. Those relationships usually focus more on moral, educational and vocational guidance. Although there will be dimensions of spiritual direction in these relationships, a true spiritual director is someone who can listen and provide spiritual guidance beyond any personal need to defend or uphold any particular tradition or religious institution. It is also not the same thing as spiritual friendship in that spiritual friendship is usually a peer relationship that includes some level of mutuality. Spiritual direction, on the other hand, is "one-way" in that the director is there solely to attend to the directee and does not look to that relationship in order to have any of their personal needs met. There is a willingness on the part of the directee to submit to the guidance of the director because of the inner authority they possess, not positional authority bestowed within organizational or religious hierarchies.



An effective spiritual director is someone who is:
● Trained through a recognized training program
● Experienced in the ways of the soul due, in part, to the faithful attention they have
given to their own spiritual journey
● Gifted and practiced in discernment and listening to the Spirit
● Called and committed to cultivating a life of listening and spiritual accompaniment
● Experienced in a variety of spiritual practices that open us to God
● Able to maintain a prayerful, contemplative stance as they are accompanying others
● In spiritual direction themselves

Fees for spiritual direction are determined on a case-by-case basis between the director and the directee. Eden does not manage this relationship or get involved with payment. This monthly cost is outside of your payments for Eden Lead Tuition.
The typical cost of a spiritual director is $100 per session. We believe many leaders will discover the value of this key spiritual investment and will continue with their spiritual director years after completing the Eden Lead Year.

Begin by praying. Ask God to lead you to just the right director for you.

Then prayerfully make contact with potential directors, by email and/ or by phone. Ask them about their theology of spiritual direction—how do they understand what happens in the direction session? How do they try to pay attention to God’s presence? What might regular times with them look like? As you listen to their answers, notice what goes in your own internal reactions. Is there a particular director with whom you feel a desire and freedom to share more deeply? Do you sense this as a relationship where already, in your back-and-forth conversation, there’s an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence and leading?

Once you identify a potential director, set up a time to meet. (Although in-person direction is preferable, some directors do offer direction by phone or online.) Unless it’s clear right away that this isn’t what or who you want, you’ll meet twice more before together discerning if this is a relationship that the Lord is inviting you into. Then you’ll commit to a period of time together, usually a year, before further evaluation. Clarify with the director where you will meet, how often, and how you will offer financial compensation for his or her ministry. (Some directors request a particular amount, others suggest a scale based on your ability and freedom to give, others are covered already by their ministry organization. Do be prepared to offer something, either to them or to their ministry organization, for this is a ministry for which people have invested time and money in training, and your contribution enables them to give time to it.)
We have a trusted list of spiritual directors to refer, but participants are required to reach out and to hire their own spiritual director.

We trust these individuals and organizations:
1. George Goodrich
2. Chrissy Smith
3. Rusty Mckie
4. Eric Bolash
5. Dave Rimoldi
6. Nancy Crowell
7. Kristen Blanford

8. Kerry Tomberlin

9. Selah Directory of Spiritual Directors [Can be sorted by denomination, geographical
region etc if that is desired.]
10. Spiritual Formation Society of Arizona

Reach out to Chuck Gschwend via email @cgschwend@edenteam.org.

Each of the three retreats are 3 night, 4 day retreats. Plan to arrive by 3pm on the first day.  Our retreat will end no later than 12:30pm on the final day. 

The fee for any cancellation or change to the Eden Lead (hereafter "Cancellation/Changes") will apply in the following noncumulative manner:

  • The entire registration fee* for a "no show" or Cancellation/Change within 5 days of a retreat;
  • A $600 fee* for Cancellation/Change within 12 days of the retreat;
  • A $450 fee* for Cancellation/Change within 3 weeks of the retreat;
  • If we are able to fill your spot with someone on the waiting list, we will adjust this Cancellation/Change fee.

We strongly discourage non-participants from joining as this is a personal retreat for your development. There will be individual exercises that would be diminished if you were distracted by other relationships and obligations during the time.

Yes. We provide opportunity for you to state needed accommodations on your Cohort Intake Form. We will serve healthy and nutritious meals; and the kitchen staff does their best to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions. We inform the kitchen/catering staff when we have individuals in our group who have some special dietary needs. We also serve a variety of protein rich, gluten free, fresh snacks between meals. 

Send an email to lgschwend@edenteam.org and the administrators will answers any questions that you may have.