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is being formed into the image of Christ for the sake of the world.
we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.
What we do know is this: when Christ is revealed we will be like
him, for we will see him as he is."
1 John 3:2
Below I have
listed some of my beliefs about Christian formation. You need not
agree with all of these in order to practice Christian formation,
but these convictions have informed the materials presented here.
1. God wants
to be in relationship with us. We were created to be in relationship
with God. Christian formation is not about being told what to do
as much as it is being reminded who we are called to be. Genesis
3:9 "The Lord called to the man and said, 'Where are you?'"
takes effort. God is always reaching out to us, but like human relationships,
there needs to be effort on both sides for a relationship to flourish.
Relationships grow when both parties listen intentionally and share
honestly. Relationships take attention, practice, and persistence.
John15:15 "I do not call you servants any longer . . . but
I have called you friends."
are supported in community. We do not come to Christ by ourselves,
and we cannot remain faithful to Christ by ourselves. Christian
community nurtures and encourages our formation. Our individual
gifts, practice, and growth strengthen the body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-12 "The gifts he gave were . . . to equip the
saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ."
formation is not an end in itself. We are not formed for our own
sake, or even for the sake of the Church. We are formed so that
we can be aligned with the Holy Spirit's vision and call to work
for wholeness in a broken world. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 "All
this is from God, who reconciled himself to us through Christ, and
has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In Christ God was reconciling
the world to himself."
formation is for all of us. It is for all ages, all people, all
places on the spiritual journey. It is never too early to begin,
and it is a life-long process. It is for our whole being: heart,
soul, mind, and strength. Mark 12:30 "You shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all
your mind, and with all your strength."
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