How Are We Spiritually Formed?
Growth is a work of the Spirit. No practice, method or study produces Christian maturity apart from the Spirit’s empowerment and direction. We can, however, identify how the Spirit seems to work when we study the biblical story, and try to follow God’s way of doing things within it.
These three “ways” are undergirding values and methods by which we hope people are spiritually formed:
The beginning of the biblical story begins not with a 'what' or a 'why,' but a 'who.' A personal God created us for relationship and purpose. God came in Jesus to live and die and live again amongst us. He sat at our tables, walked our streets and held our hands. God then sent his Spirit to live in us, not away from us, to comfort, guide and empower.
We believe, therefore, that spiritual formation is only possible through an emphasis on relationship with God and others.
Because we're created for relationship and purpose, and because we often forget this, humans need to be reminded and re-equipped to fulfill our true vocation. We are given one another, in part, to learn from and be shaped by. Mature Christians help to nurture, encourage and release us to fulfill our God-given potential.
Since we are created for relationship and purpose, this vocation is best expressed through humble service. When Jesus began his work in the world he invited others to work along with him, teaching his disciples how God goes things. Jesus' words to his disciples after he washed their feet should stick with us "..if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
We are shaped and formed by Jesus' example when we serve others, remembering who God is, and often surprisingly, who we are too.