Here are some posts from Thoughts of Resurrection one year ago, that I think you might find interesting. Take a look…
I have had a great first two weeks as part of the Resurrection West team. I started as Associate Campus Pastor on August 15 and have loved the opportunity to be part of what God is doing through this community in the western part of Johnson County. There is an amazing team of staff and volunteers that make opportunities to know, love and serve God possible each day.
My task over these two weeks has been to step into some of my immediate areas of responsibility and get to know people. It is a brand new congregation for me to get to know. I have met with couples and individuals almost every day to hear their story of connection at West and listen for the words of wisdom and guidance they have for me as an associate pastor here.
At times it can feel exciting, confusing, peaceful, important, fascinating and sometimes a mix of all of these at once. I am looking forward to the days ahead!
There are clear indicators of effective clergy that would ensure that she or he would receive an appointment regardless of whether her or his appointment is guaranteed in the United Methodist Church. There are also churches that are more and less healthy. In April, the Connectional Table of the United Methodist Church suggested that there are five areas to be measured in a church:
- worship attendance
- disciples engaged in mission
- professions of faith
- mission giving
- spiritual / discipleship formation groups.
Unhealthy churches are those that are not breaking even or growing in these areas. Other, less official indicators include:
- Requesting that 3 of the last 5 appointed pastors move in less than two years.
- No clear mission or vision.
- Unwelcoming to first time guests.
What would you add to this list?
Why is it difficult to create effective content for Christian spiritual formation?
Because people creating the content are not aware of the answers being sought.
I recently read an article in Wired Magazine about Demand Media and the way that they go about creating content. This excerpt from the article gives an idea of Demand Media’s model of commissioning pieces of content to be developed:
Pieces are not dreamed up by trained editors nor commissioned based on submitted questions. Instead they are assigned by an algorithm, which mines nearly a terabyte of search data, Internet traffic patterns, and keyword rates to determine what users want to know and how much advertisers will pay to appear next to the answers.
What if a similar model was used within the church? The focus would not be on how much money could be made by creating particular articles. Christian content creation based on a model similar to that of Demand Media would create text and video content that would be tailored to where people are hoping to grow. Significant progress would be made in meeting people where they are in their experience of God’s grace and helping them take the next step as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Would this Christian content creation model lead to useful tools for helping people grow in their faith or anesthetize and distance content creators from those seeking to grow in their faith?
I believe that the primary role of the church is spiritual formation.
Through worship, teaching, classes, serving, conversation, care, accountability and many other specifics the faith community that is the church is about forming the souls closer to the image of God. This journey of sanctification moves us closer toward perfect love of God and neighbor.
In Matthew 28, Jesus sends the disciples to:
- make disciples
All part of spiritual formation.
Do you agree? Why or why not?
I go through seasons in my practice of spiritual disciplines and now is a time for a refresh.
I found inspiration and encouragement in A Call to Spiritual Formation – a simple document addressing the need for continual spiritual formation of every Christian. I invite you to visit the website at http://acalltospiritualformation.info and sign your name to the document if it resonates with your life.
The next step for me is to dig in to a renewed practice of spiritual disciplines. I am still looking for what might be next…
What spiritual disciplines have you found to be formational in your life and would recommend?