What is Spiritual Formation in Youth Ministry?
Category : Uncategorized
I am not anti-fun or even anti-event, rather I believe we need a change in emphasis and focus. I am calling for student pastors to center their ministry cycle on the process of spiritual formation.
Spiritual formation is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, so it’s important you know what I mean when I say ‘spiritual formation.’ Spiritual formation describes the process of a believer’s spiritual maturation through the continual sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, in which the believer is transformed more and more to the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:19). This process is not accomplished solely on hard work and due diligence absent of dependence on the Spirit, but rather spiritual formation is the process in which we balance our human responsibility with the Spirit’s promise to continue His work in us (Rom. 8:28-30; Phil. 1:6). The definition used in this research then is that spiritual formation is the Spirit empowered process in which the believer’s life is conformed to that of Christ’s (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27) through the grace-empowered submission of his life to God’s will (Rom. 12:1-2), and in the context of biblical community. The result of spiritual formation should be a life entirely transformed by the reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Spiritual formation is the Spirit empowered process in which the believer’s life is conformed to that of Christ’s (Rom. 13:14; Gal. 3:27) through the grace-empowered submission of his life to God’s will (Rom. 12:1-2), and in the context of biblical community.
Spiritual formation is far too often a discussion that leads to strategies, disciplines, or rules on how to effectively take the reins of your own formation. Although these discussions and strategies are not inherently bad, the line between grace-empowered transformation and human ‘hunker-down’ obedience must be walked with a prayerful balance. Therefore, I am not here to propose a 7-part strategy to grow your students quicker and better, rather historically the Church has broken the spiritual formation process down into three practices; corporate worship, doing life together, and serving others. It is when we understand and emphasize these practices in our ministries that we are able to navigate away from the production of church consumers and toward forming mature Christ followers