To be a leader in the church, you must first attend to your own spiritual development. This can be particularly challenging for pastors, but it must not be neglected. On the menus to the right, we've provided connections to resources that others have found to be helpful.
What is Spiritual Formation?
- gradual, life-long movement, not single, momentous conversion
- goes against grain of “quick-fix, instant results, Five Easy Steps” culture
- draws us by God’s magnetic attraction, awakening our desire for God
of being conformed to the image of Christ:
- Christ is the image of God made visible to us (Col.1:15)
- image of Christ is pattern of human wholeness — we share God’s image (Gen.1:26)
- God’s likeness feels strange since we are misshapen by images of worldly culture
- the Christ image heals, renews, restores us
- moves us from being centered in self to being centered in God
by the gracious working of God’s spirit:
- we want to make things happen in our self-reliant culture
- but cannot conform ourselves to Christ by own will power
- we can open ourselves to gracious working of God’s spirit
- the Spirit enables us to choose way of Christ over self-interest
- grace helps us give reins of control to God and to cooperate with Spirit
- we resist Spirit’s work because change in ideas/habits/ behaviors is scary
- spiritual disciplines (practices) are ways of opening ourselves to grace
for the transformation of the world:
- being like Christ means living in self-giving love
- spiritual life not about “me” but about the world God loves
- as we are conformed to Christ we embody more of God’s love for others
- fruits of spiritual formation are compassion, patience, truthfulness, reconciliation
- transformed persons are leaven for transforming the world
This definition adapts and expands Robert Mulholland’s work Invitation to a Journey (InterVarsity Press, 1993). Companions in Christ Training © 2004. All rights reserved.
We invite you to click on the link on the right side for more information on important ministries like: Academy of Spiritual Formation, Living Prayer Center, SOULfeast, and Walk to Emmaus.