Spiritual Formation

"Spiritual transformation is central to the message of the gospel and therefore central to the mission of the Church.”

- Ruth Haley Barton

Spiritual Formation

Jesus’ invitation to “Come follow me” is one that involves our whole life. Spiritual Formation is the journey or process through which we are transformed becoming more like Jesus and discovering our true self. This formation process is an ongoing daily choice to arrange our whole life around the ways of Jesus.

The process of transformation in becoming more like Jesus is not easy. It can often be painful and difficult to identify the gaps we’ve inherited from our past, and to allow Jesus to restore those places deep inside of us. We want to acknowledge the challenge and wrestling that comes with taking steps to follow Jesus. At the same time, we want to anticipate the healing, wholeness and transformation that is possible as we commit to being and apprentice, or lifelong students of learning and living the way of Jesus.

Spiritual Practices that Transform

A spiritual practice is a discipline or activity based on the life of Jesus that enables us to posture our mind and body to abide with Jesus, accessing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit and in doing so we experience transformation from the inside out.

Below is how we carry out spiritual formation...

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Prayer is one of the most central and significant ways that a person connects to God. We don’t approach prayer as a way to get everything we want from God; we approach prayer to get more of God. A regular rhythm of prayer develops an awareness that God is present, right here, right now with us.

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To follow Jesus is to put his teachings into practice in your life. The scriptures are a library of God inspired writings that together tell a unified story that points us to Jesus. We trust in the scriptures because of Jesus. Our goal as followers of Jesus is not to simply read or know the scriptures, our goal is to obey it as we trust in Jesus.

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Sabbath is a gift from God. God has created us to live in a rhythm of work and rest that acknowledges our limitations. The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word that means “to cease, to stop working.” It refers to doing nothing related to work for a twenty-four-hour period each week. Sabbath is not primarily about us or how it benefits us; it is about God and how God forms us. On Sabbaths we imitate God by stopping our work and resting.

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Fasting is a spiritual practice that helps us focus on God and align our hearts with His. Fasting is a willing abstinence from food for a period of time and has been a core practice of the church from the start. Jesus expected His followers to fast, and He said that God rewards fasting. However, fasting is realistic, not legalistic. Don’t focus what you are giving up. Focus on communication with God and the reason(s) you are fasting.

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Possibly the most radical, and the most difficult of all the practices of Jesus is silence and solitude. Yet deep in our souls, we crave space with God that is defined by silence, stillness, and solitude. The practice of silence and solitude is an intentional distraction-free time in the quiet to slow down our pace in order to be with Jesus, and this is the source from which our activity flows.

Recommended Reading

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. - Micah 6v8

Racial Reconciliation Resources

Below is a collection of recommended resources for adults, families, and students on the topics of race, diversity, and racial reconciliation. Some resources focus on historical education, some on the contributions of people of color, while others reference modern-day experiences. The Kingdom of God is a color blessed community from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language brought together by the power of Jesus as one family. As a community, we are committing to ongoing learning, continuing the conversation, and love. As we honor and reflect together, here are a few ways that you can engage and learn more.

Recommended Reading