Spiritual formation In congregations
LE3 .A278 2009
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
Spiritual formation is a complex process consisting of the interweaving of spiritual disciplines and shared life experiences. Even devoted followers of Jesus Christ struggle to achieve lasting character change and progress in becoming more Christ-like. This thesis project studied one congregation with a view to intentionally lead people on a journey toward transformation through a spiritual formation emphasis. After reviewing some of the literature used in the project, the discussion offers theological and biblical underpinnings for the concept of spiritual formation and provides an introduction to the classic spiritual disciplines. The research led to an interesting interaction of personality development and spirituality which demonstrates that understanding personality type can lead to greater spiritual development. The thesis project included a series of interviews with a cross section of the congregation. The interviews focused on the spiritual journey of the interviewees. A one-day spiritual retreat was then held to help people find a place of solitude for spiritual reflection. Finally, a series of sermons was preached addressing the subject of spiritual formation. As with all such projects, there are strengths and issues yet to be explored. The central theme to emerge was that Christian people need a variety of spiritual disciplines to choose from in order to find a spiritual path which suits their personality type and helps them understand and accept others. Spiritual formation is difficult to achieve and works best when people intentionally accompany one another on a journey toward wholeness in Christ.
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