Loving this! Thankful for their hard work!
Today, I found myself in Fort Worth, TX for a meeting. Fort Worth isn’t that far from Waco where I live. It’s up the road a little over an hour. We lived here for a brief time (one month together) when we first were married… I have mostly positive memories.
After my meeting, I treated myself to a soda at Panera Bread. YES – there is a Panera in Waco and I visit it weekly. Yet – while they serve the same bread and cookies and drinks at each Panera – the store is a different layout. This store in Fort Worth off University Dr. is bigger and offers more real estate as far as places to sit and enjoy their free WiFi. I like it and would like to take it with me.
In the midst of sitting here, I realized how much I love my church, my job, my family (not in that order). A change of location can do that for us. I drove through the TCU campus and it’s drastically different than BU’s campus. If you’re curious, I’d rather be a bear than a frog any day. While driving, I recalled eating Fuzzy’s Tacos and even began to compare it to Viteks (although two different foods) remembering that the goodness of ole’ Fuzzy’s yet not much compares to the Gut-Pack (small, add sausage if you go there; plus they have DUBLIN DP!!).
Yet, while sitting here, I became overwhelmed with thankfulness for the opportunities God has granted me these past few years. I see the landscape of emerging leaders in our ministry and it excites me. I see my family and how we’re beginning to learn how to BE a family. I see my church and our ministry and know that we’re healthier NOW than when we first arrived and it has little to do with us and more to do with God and His grace. I thought about different leaders who’ve risen in our ministry and God’s grace in allowing them to be part of our church in our lives.
A change of location can bring clarity. It just does – so if you’re frustrated about your situation, maybe you need to get out of town. Maybe you should spend more time on your face in prayer than on Facebook. Maybe you should get alone and ask God to bring clarity… I believe He will. If anything, maybe you could have a fresh perspective on your work; on your family; on the cross.
Every Monday, I meet with my college staff. I know some people H-A-T-E meetings – especially if they’re pointless… but consistency in meeting is so important. Today, we met simply for us to encourage one another. We spent the entire time going around the room just building one another up. We do this because it’s Biblical. But we also do it because if we’re not encouraging one another, how can we expect others to be an encourager to their peers.
So here are some of the things I’m thankful for in our team (we said more, but I’m trying to keep things short):
Tim – I love how you care for others – deeply. I love how you pursue righteousness in all things – this keeps me accountable, and also our ministry.
Greg – I love your teachable spirit. So many “music guys” just want to be famous and will try to use the church as a crutch to their own selfish desires… but that’s not you.
Ashley – I love your ability to keep us on mission. Not for one moment do you allow us to let something slip through the cracks… it’s indispensable.
Audrey – I love how you people matter to you – and it shows. You don’t just say, “I care about you” you prove it by your love.
JR – (you weren’t at the meeting but I know you’ll read this and I’ll need to have said something about you) I love the fact that after working 70-80 hrs at your job, you’ll exert an extra 10 for us. Thanks. It matters.
How does this land for you? Take time to encourage those around you – it is good for your soul, and good for those you’re walking through life with.
Simply, in my observation, spiritual formation is not too different from discipleship in nature. I think the difference would simply be that “spiritual formation” evokes fertile images of growth, slow maturation, and gentle becoming. It is a focused attention upon the heart – what is being stirred in your affections; what your minds attention is focused upon. In my view, “spiritual formation” is about your betterment, your sanctification in the most radical ways of which takes place in the most ordinary places.
Like unto it, discipleship is done with one another in community. You have a discipler. You have someone who is coming along side with you and helping you grow. Spiritual formation is an inward discipline; discipleship is an outward discipline. That being said, I think there is a ton of room for disagreement here… the point is that we are called to follow Jesus.
Thus, this is how I would define spiritual formation: the maturing process of a follower of Jesus, so that they might be sanctified.
I think it is imperative for a local church to on regular occasion teach, disciple, lead, form, preach, model, etc. what it means to be a follower of Jesus. It is completely necessary, and if you are not doing this in your local church OR you think it can be done without a plan and therefore will happen naturally, you’re a fool.