School Project with tough questions for the church


shepherdI have lots of questions rolling around in my mind right now because of school. My project is to interview 2 leaders from two ministries or churches to find out how they approach spiritual formation/education in their contexts and among their community of believers. The questions are penetrating. Here are just a few:

“In what ways are the sacraments given or experienced that allow for a time of repentance and receiving from God?”

“How is spiritual remembering practiced, and the spiritual disciplines conveyed and taught that will help others imitate the life of Jesus.”

“How well are people able to share their brokenness, (addictions, temptations, grief, etc.) and able to begin healing within the body of believers?”

“Are new believers provided with guides and mentors?”

“How is corporate prayer accomplished to engender brokenness, recompense, transformation, and worship?”

 

How might your church do with these tough questions? (anonymous posts are fine)

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4 responses to “School Project with tough questions for the church

  1. QUESTION:

    “Are new believers provided with guides and mentors?”

    ANSWER: I’m not a church but a resource website for new Christians, so this is for them:

    http://www.newchristian.org.uk

  2. “In what ways are the sacraments given or experienced that allow for a time of repentance and receiving from God?”

    –We would do these in the small group setting, instead of the corporate worship gathering. My intention was to always be experiential – I would try to incorporate all five senses, as well as time for personal reflection, inspired imagination and visualization, as well as a communal experience.

    “How is spiritual remembering practiced, and the spiritual disciplines conveyed and taught that will help others imitate the life of Jesus.”

    –By example, vision casting, classes, mentoring, and teaching.

    “How well are people able to share their brokenness, (addictions, temptations, grief, etc.) and able to begin healing within the body of believers?”

    –over 50% of our community were seekers. Many of those folks came from within the 12-step fellowship. We sought to give them a better understanding of just who their Higher Power was. This was mostly done within the small groups, where community, service, fellowship, worship, and the Word were emphasized. Our group leaders were instructed to be aware of the spiritual needs and to move towards that calling.

    “Are new believers provided with guides and mentors?”

    We lacked mentors, so we relied more heavily on the small group communal experience. Which had limited results.

    “How is corporate prayer accomplished to engender brokenness, recompense, transformation, and worship?”

    First in the small groups. Second, as a part of the corporate worship experience. But the way we best experienced this was through the ACTS prayer. – from the front, I would lead the congregation into a prayerful space. Then, through inspirational visualization, gentle instruction, and vision casting, I would ask people to shout out a word of Adoration to God. Not praise, but adoration. (because we had done this several times through the years, the veterans really set the tone). After 3-5 minutes of this, we would move on to Confession – not just confession of sin, but confession of need, confessions of love, confessions of joy, etc. This often took the group to a pretty deep experience – most often, to my cringes, someone would get a little too real, but obviously, they needed that. Then we would move on to Thankfulness – shouting out words of thanksgiving to our Lord. Finally we would conclude with words of Supplication – or requests. This could take on anywhere from 10-25 minutes and was always a powerful experience. Then I would close with a summary benediction. It was cool.

    • lisacolondelay

      This sharing is really helpful. Thank you. Including the five senses in worship, can move the experience to a deeper part of the memory, and regular life of a person. So good to hear of the reaching out to those outside the church with struggles, and caring for them diligently.