E-pistle March 10

Education plus

These days, if you go to a seminary or a conference on Christian Education, you quickly learn that what we have thought of as Sunday School, youth group or adult classes, isn’t called Christian Education any more. There things are now called “spiritual formation.”  More than a name change, this new title represents a paradigm shift. Now, instead of information, we are talking about formation. Instead of helping people know about God, the goal is to help people know God.   It is a move from head to heart, from facts to feelings, from exposition to personal experience.
Of course facts are important. Information is important. Context matters and so does theology. If, however, these things are not connected to our spiritual lives – if they don’t help us connect with God – they are simply an academic exercise that feeds our minds but not our souls.
Spiritual formation is not just what happens in Sunday School classes. It happens in prayer, in worship, in conversation with others, and in a wide variety of other activities, times and places. Lent is a good time to ask yourself some questions. How is your soul being fed? How is your spiritual life being nurtured? How is spiritual formation happening to you?
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