There seems to be a convergence of ideas and experiences in my ministry around this notion of congregationally based Spiritual Formation:
- Since my own seminary experience (1992-1996), I have longed to be part of a congregation that facilitated deep theological reflection for those who seek it – without scaring those who don’t.
- CPE (1995-1996) helped reinforce the Action/Reflection model of Spiritual Formation and Theological Integration
- Teaching @ Jarvis and Kilgore (1998-2001) gave me some experience with this kind of teaching.
- Coversations with John Moore (1998-2001) about ‘Chat-room Sunday School’ were based upon this goal.
- Pastoral Care Specialist training (2003-04) and ongoing dialogue around Family Systems Thinking (here’s a summary).
- Pursuing opportunities at FGCC to ‘nurture’ spiritual leaders since moving to Allen: Pam, Tyler, Andrew, Elders, Dena, Sandra, Shirley,
- NTA Committee on the Ministry
- Barnabas Coaching of New Church Planters
- Broader interest in Coaching as a model for leadership formation
- My own spiritual renewal which began in earnest early in 2007.
- The increase of ‘spiritual formation’ activities at FGCC – multiple worship opportunities, adult bible study opportunities, prayer times – and increased conversation and active participation in prayer among leadership – Board, Elders, Deacons, Ministry Council & Staff
So, now I think about my own ministry focus, and how to support this work through times of study and reflection. What are the best ways to continue to develop and to support FGCC and our broader community to develop in these areas.
What might it mean for FGCC to become a small, humble center of Prayerful Reflection and Theological Integration – where people can “be still than know that [God is] God,” and can then ask, “where is God in this situation, and what is God asking of me/us?”
These two goals are at the heart of Spiritual Formation in any setting, but particularly in the life of a local congregation – this is perhaps the primary reason why local congregations exist – to do this work.