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CS 654 Spiritual Formation in Congregations Weekend #2.

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Presentation on theme: "CS 654 Spiritual Formation in Congregations Weekend #2."— Presentation transcript:

1 CS 654 Spiritual Formation in Congregations Weekend #2

2   Being together in Christ  Sharing a common life in Jesus  Having a mutual interest in each other’s maturity, i.e., the ministry of reciprocity (as the community contributes to my growth, I contribute to its growth corporately and to the growth of individual members of the community)  Journeying together toward Christ  Reaching a sacred place of vulnerability and authenticity Community – What is it?

3  Community – How does it function? Confirmation Provides a place to develop one’s identity to discover how to serve within the kingdom Affirms when the developing identity is congruent with the values of the community Confirms gifts and talents

4  Contradiction Creates opportunities to be confronted with the reality of one’s direction, which may be counterproductive to his or her maturing Acts as an “agent of dissonance” that causes members to rethink the direction of their identities Consists of people who have the integrity to come clean, with the confidence that brokenness will not end a relationship

5  Continuity Develops a story and a character that gives it the right both to confirm and to contradict Provides a story into which participants can fold their stories for a sense of stability Recognizes the same Spirit at work within believing communities as he was within biblical cultures

6  Fractured in the Fall Kept alive in the Old Testament Renewed by Jesus Realized in the New Testament Biblical Community

7   Christian community is the body of Christ expressing the life and message of Christ to build up one another and redeem the world for God’s glory.  Read from Donahue.  What is your definition?  It is important to know your definition of biblical community in order to develop a training program for small group leaders. Biblical Community

8   Divide into 2 groups of 3.  Consider the following questions together:  Where did you live between ages 7 and 12?  How was your home heated then?  Who was the center of human warmth in your family?  When, if ever, did God become more than a mere word to you? Small Group Firestarter #1

9   Each individual should select one of the “one anothers” from Gorman 40-41  Go to the library and do some research on the accompanying reference, noting insights (15 minutes)  Meet with assigned small group and share insights discovered (10 minutes)  Draw conclusions together regarding how the “one anothers” reveal biblical community that could be practiced in our culture today (10 minutes) Small Group Firestarter #2

10   Taking into account all we’ve discussed tonight, how could the intentional development of biblical community be counter-cultural?  Brainstorm the potential impact of counter-cultural community within the context of your church, your family, and perhaps beyond.  Prepare to report your findings to the class. Small Group Firestarter #3

11   How do people commonly view the church?  Centered in a building  Represented by a pastor, priest, or minister  Made up of people who share a common faith  The role of leadership:  Look carefully at the patterns and practices of church life  Unexamined presuppositions or assumptions can hide the roots of conflict and confusion even as the church experiences renewal and growth – Roberta Hestenes Community in the Congregation

12   Institutional  Looks at the formal power and organizational structure of the church  Issues of power and authority emerge  Considers the governing board, the pastor and staff, the committee structure, and the people who are active in the programs  Key questions are:  Can we get them involved in helping the program?  Are enough people coming to the program? Two perspectives for church life

13   Relational  Looks at the relationships and interpersonal connections in the church  Considers the networks within the congregation  Issues concern regarding whether a sense of belonging exists  Focuses on the groups of people in the congregation— those who meet within the church building and those who meet elsewhere  Committees become one form of congregational relational groups Two perspectives for church life

14   The major difficulty occurs when a new leader with relational, community-building eyes unwisely develops relational programs and emphases to the neglect of people who are more programmatically or institutionally oriented  Doing this risks ending up with two congregations with contradictory goals  The challenge is to work with both types—to draw relational people into mission and institutional people into situations where they are cared for—to work toward community  --Roberta Hestenes The major difficulty

15   Can be a meeting place for both relationally and programmatically oriented church people when committees know how to function as communities  Even committees can be structured and operated in a way that remembers one of the central commands of Jesus—to love one another Transformed committees

16   Discerning spirituality  Spiritually gifted for the task  Clear job descriptions  Sense of calling  Description of available training  Annual retreats  Sharing reflection questions and stories Things to consider

17   Avoid giving singular meanings to plural passages in the Scriptures  Include sermon illustrations that reflect the communal life of the church  Consider letting people in to the deeper parts of our lives because community demands it  Understand the church as a system  Encourage spiritual formation through Bible study Talk community

18  Create community. Make a difference in someone’s day Starbucks found it

19  The American front porch further represented the ideal of community in America. For the front porch existed as a zone between the public and the private, an area that could be shared between the sanctity of the home and the community outside. It was an area where interaction with the community could take place – Scott Cook No more front porches

20   Sketch your “Journey of Transformation” on a sheet of paper.  Where did a person or persons play a major part in your formation?  How did this occur?  Why are people today so lonely?  Do you think people really want community? Do you? Firestarter #4

21   Story-rap (198)  What are the characteristics of pseudocommunity?  Have you experienced any aspects of pseudocommunity?  How does true community compare?  How do you see true community among the 12 disciples?  What would God have you do to develop “realness” in your community experience? The answer is not pseudocommunity!

22  Major part of the abundance in the abundant life Community begins and ends in God—the purpose is his, the power to actualize is his, the resulting benefits are his. Community is inherent in being Christian Community—don’t leave home without it

23  The distinctiveness of the followers of Jesus must include the godly treatment of one another “Sainthood is perfected in communion with others, never apart from it” – Simon Chan Community is intrinsic to our evolving Christlikeness

24  Life in the Father’s household lasts forever Sharing in the marriage supper of the Lamb will be the consummation of earthly community Community is God’s gift to his own, now and forever

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