I’m so glad you found my website. It tells me that you are serious about finding the “life to the full” Jesus speaks about in John 10:10. And, that’s awesome. I am too. It might just be a divine appointment.
Please, let me introduce myself…
My name is Charlie Vensel. I am an Anglican Priest (MDIV), International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach (ACC), and Certified Spiritual Director (CSD).
I help individuals, couples and groups discover who God created them to be…and how to get there.”
But, that didn’t just drop out of the sky for me one day. It is actually born out of my own story; it is my best understanding to date why God put me here. And, it took years. with the help of a lot of people, to be able to own it and go for it.
I’d like to share a little of my story with you.
“I’m disoriented.” I thought to myself in the pulpit one Sunday morning in 2011. Maybe, it was the beginning of a mid-life crisis. God seemed absent. Life wasn’t working the way I thought it should, the way it used to, and it was starting to take its toll. A nagging feeling crept in telling me that while there might not be anything wrong, something wasn’t right.
Is This as Good as It Gets?
It didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. Because, everything looked great from the outside. I had an impressive resume: developing franchise operations for a growing restaurant chain, starting & selling my own business to pay for graduate school, and planting & pastoring churches in Florida, Colorado and South Carolina. Yet, while it seemed like everything was heading in the right direction, I could only ask, “Is this as good as it gets?”
As a pastor, I was supposed to have the “life to the full”, but I was far from it. So, I felt like a spiritual fraud. I felt like my value was on the line too. I had always been the guy that other people had called for counsel; 15 years in business management, and about as many in full-time ministry. Over the years I helped hundreds of employees, managers, and church members figure out what’s working, what’s not, discern what God was saying, and find their best way forward. However, I couldn’t do that for myself.
Dark Night of The Soul
So, in the disorientation and dissatisfaction, I entered what St. John of the Cross calls “the dark night of the soul”, a place where God brought me very low to rediscover him. See, I had been stuck in the Performance Trap, earning my worth through what I could have, what I could do, and what others thought of me. Yes, I knew God, and knew him well. But, it was time to go much deeper. I had been stuck in the Performance Trap for a long time and God wanted to deal with it. It was in the way of “life to the full”.
Escaping the Performance Trap was a very hard thing, a very painful thing, and a very good thing. I had taught for many years that we cannot have resurrection until we have experienced crucifixion. But, it was my turn to experience it and to know in my soul, not just preach about it. I know now, that “the dark night of the soul” is one of the ways God speaks his truth in love to us.
Fortunately, that’s when I discovered Christian Life Coaching and Spiritual Direction for myself. God used those two processes to show me patterns stemming from unresolved wounds, the agreements I had made with them, how I was relating to God, myself, and those around me because of them. That was at the root of the Performance Trap.
He further helped me reinterpret my life in the context of his Larger Story, understand how so much of life had formed me (for good and for bad), and hone in on the God-given desires of my heart. So, I understand now, not just as a theological concept, but from an increasingly healed heart, that nothing is wasted in his economy; it all matters, it’s all formative, it all points to what he desires to do in our hearts. When we come into that kind of awareness, I believe, we are on the threshold of “life to the full”.
Through Christian Life Coaching and Spiritual Direction, I came alive. It was the beginning of living into my True Self, the way God created me to be, without near as many False Self fig leaves as I wore when I was in the Performance Trap… “And, all the people said, ‘Amen.'”
Now? Is This as Good as It Gets?
So, if you were to ask me today, “Charlie, is this as good as it gets?” I would answer, “No. There is more.” I would answer from a very different posture of heart, not so much because of different circumstances, for in many ways they are more challenging, but because I’m operating out of a much truer, richer, intimate relationship with God, a palpable sense of his love, and the freedom that entails. I continue embracing my new identity in Christ. Daily, I’m looking for “the more”.
Turns out Christian Life Coaching and Spiritual Direction were natural fits for me. I have a pastor’s heart, a counselor’s disposition, and I love helping others. In so many ways, and as far back as I can remember, in any job I’ve had, or industry I worked in, I was always the guy people came to when they were feeling stuck. So, I decided to pursue training and certification in these disciplines to do a better job of leading others into this same kind of transformation; to find “the more” of “life to the full”.
So, 2015 was a year of many new beginnings for me, including hanging out a shingle as a Professional Coach and Spiritual Director. Since then, I’ve logged hundreds of hours of this type of soul-care conversation with my clients.
Want To Know More?
This is a new website, from the ground up, officially launching January 1, 2019. So, content is being added all the time. But, shortly after the first of the year, you will be able to learn a lot more about me on social media and in my blog posts, videos, and podcasts; who I am, how I think, what makes me tick, what I’m after, etc. But, beware, I’m very honest about my own “stuff” and not near as “churchy” as you might be looking for. I hope you find that a bit of a relief.
Most of the content I’ve uploaded so far has been on the more technical side of my craft, but I do look forward to getting to doing life with you in real-time soon on my blog.
Services I Offer
You can find out plenty about the services I offer, Christian Life Coaching and Spiritual Direction, and Special Events on their respective pages. You may also find a particular blog post helpful: The Difference Between Christian Life Coaching & Spiritual Direction.
Some are probably still curious about my qualifications. Well, you should be. Research any Coach or Spiritual Director you would use well before you engage. But, if it helps, over the years I’ve earned the following designations:
- Master of Divinity (M.Div.): Reformed Theological Seminary, Oviedo, FL
- Ordained Minister: Anglican Mission in the Americas, Dallas, TX
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC): International Coach Federation, Lexington, KY
- Certified Spiritual Director (CSD): NewWay Ministries, Frisco, CO
How to Get Started
If you have any questions, including how to begin a Christian Life Coaching or Spiritual Direction relationship with me, please contact me. I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.
It would be my honor to come alongside you as a trusted “soul-friend” to help you find “life to the full”.