Thursday, June 16, 2005

In search of a living faith

It's been a while since I posted anything of substance, and, I figure, why start now? There are some great discussions already going on that I'd like to follow for a while, so I'm making an appeal here instead.

Its related to a topic we've discussed many times before here-spirituality. As part of my ordination journey, I need to be active in a congregation. Some lucky candidates get paid positions on church staffs, but as I'm not particularly good at marketing myself, I haven't been favored with that opportunity since getting out of seminary. Therefore, I went to my senior pastor and lobbied hard for an increasing level of participation on a volunteer basis, preferably in a clear leadership capacity. I was angling for the youth ministry, but as we began discussing how I understood my calling and my previous experiences with youth ministry, it soon emerged that there was a better use for me. Both of us separately had come to the conclusion that our church, which is richly blessed with academics and theologians of all stripes, have a rather outstanding adult education program in areas of Biblical studies and theology (heck, we even offer classes in Biblical Hebrew and Greek). Where we are sadly deficient is in the area of spiritual formation-exploring our personal faith and deepening our relationship with God. There has been an expressed need in the church for some time, but no one was willing to step up and get some programs going.

Well, I expressed my willingness, actually my eagerness, to take on this responsibility, so I am now the Minister of Spiritual Formation (we thought it sounded a little less naughty than Minister of Spiritual Discipline). I am excited and blessed to have this opportunity and the wholehearted support of the staff.

While I have some ideas of where this can go, I'd like to extend to this community a request: if you know of or have had experience of a particularly helpful method of encouraging and nurturing spiritual discipline, tell me about it. If a study has been helpful, let me know the title. If you've often wanted to engage in such an activity before, but haven't, please tell me why and how you think you could be encouraged to walk this path. I'm interested in all aspects of this, and responses needn't be limited to specifically Christian forms of spiritual discipline.

So...please allow me to learn from you and share it with others. Thank you.

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