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Transcript of Introduction & Spiritual Formation - · PDF fileIntroduction & Spiritual Formation...

  • Equipping the Saints Introduction & Spiritual Formation

    Discipleship Class FBC Alexandria

    Joel W. Harder

  • Goals

    Establish a working definition of Spiritual Formation Introduce the Relational Model of Discipleship Consider Biblical examples of this approach Introduce ETS material by David Dawson

  • Spiritual Formation

    all attempts, means, instruction, and disciplines intended towards deepening of faith and furtherance of spiritual growth. It includes educational endeavors as well as the more intimate and in-depth process ofspiritual direction

    Gerald May, Psychiatrist

  • Spiritual Formation cont

    Catch-all term that does very little to communicate any specific meaning

    Need to narrow terms Christian Faith

    Most statistical measures and anecdotal portraits of Evangelical Christians, not to mention Christians in general, show a remarkable similarity in the life-texture of Christians and non-Christians

  • The Gospel & Spiritual Formation

    Essence of the Gospel For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the

    power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:2)

    until Christ be formed in you. (Galatians 4:19)

  • Process of Change

    Who is the one changing? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    (Hebrews 13:8)

    Divine quality Typically to comfort Most helpful in contrasting ourselves to God Especially noticeable in the emerging adulthood


  • Proactive Process of Change

    An optimal starting point is in accepting that we are going to change over the years.

    This change can be a passive process that will happen regardless of any interest or activity on the part of the individual, or it can be an arguably far more valuable transformation where one proactively grows in mind, body and spirit into greater Christ likeness.

    Read the Willard Quote (p. 4)

  • Three Movements

    First Movement: Identifying certain activities as spiritual work or exercise.

    Actively training people for ministry Andhe gave theapostles, the prophets,

    theevangelists, theshepherds and teachers,to equip the saints for the work of ministry, forbuilding upthe body of Christ. (Eph 4:11-12)

    Fan into flame the gift of God in you (2 Tim 1:6)

  • First Movement cont

    The Training of the Twelve, A. B. Bruce Believers Attendants Disciples: Chosen by the Master and trained

    for the specific task of apostleship

    Desired outcome: Finding a passion and purpose for life

  • Second Movement

    Shaping of the inner life, or the spiritual life the spiritual side of the human being. Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Practices

  • Third Movement

    Shaping of ones life by spiritual things. Not all spiritual formation is Christian

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (Eph 6:12)

    Proactive formation focused on the spiritual things God has given His church: His Word & His Spirit

  • Working Definition

    With this framework in place, spiritual formation among evangelical Christian might be defined as a proactive process of multi-dimensional transformation (mind, body, and soul) where one matures into Christ likeness, displaying a continuous yielding of the fruit of the spirit, and helping others to do the same (Harder & Stoneking, 2013).

    With this definition, spiritual formation in Christ is accomplished as the Christian makes their highest intent to live in the commandments of Christ.

    Willard adds they accordingly make realistic plans to realize this intent by an adequate course of spiritual disciplines (Willard, 2006).

  • Why: Relational Discipleship

    The Church is constantly endeavoring to see authentic faith and spiritual formation take hold in the next generation.

    It is often said that the church is one generation away from becoming extinct.

    Though reasons exist to be hopeful about the next generation, it is undeniable that certain uneasiness exists in the church today about its effectiveness in retaining the millennial generation (Dickerson, 2013).

  • What: Relational Discipleship

    Accomplishing the goals and objectives of spiritual formation in is an impossible task if one has to do it alone. But as Willard notes, no onehasto. God gives us others to share the pilgrimage, and we will be met by Christ in every step of the way.

    Faith is a relational enterprise, triadic or covenantal in shape (Fowler, 1978).

  • Defining Discipleship

    Jesus taught that faith means to follow Discipleship isnt a program or an event; its a way of life. Its not for a limited time, but for our whole lifeSimply, discipleship means learning from and following a teacher (Hull, 2006).

    So we begin to see discipleship is an intrinsically relational, lifelong process that requires learning in the life of the one being discipled. Discipleship does not just mean an increase in knowledge.

  • Defining Discipleship cont

    Christianity is not a school for teaching moral virtues, the polishing of our manners[it] implies an entire change of life, a dedication of ourselves, our souls, our bodies unto God in the strictest and highest sense of the words. - William Law

    Discipleship results in a life that is dramatically transformed in body, mind, and soul.

  • Isnt this just a mentor?

    Yes and no Mentorship Coaching Spiritual guidance Accountability

  • What is needed in a Discipler

    Three things: Sees Jesus Points you to Jesus Sees Jesus in You

  • Biblical Model

    In Christian discipleship, and more specifically in the context of a local church, there exists a God-ordained method ofrelational discipleship.

    Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1

  • Joseph of Cyprus

    26Andwhen he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.27ButBarnabas took him andbrought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, andhow at Damascus he hadpreached boldly in the name of Jesus.

    Acts 9:26-27

  • Son of Encouragement

    36And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return and visitthe brothersin every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.37Now Barnabas wanted to take with themJohn called Mark.38But Paul thought best not to take with them onewho had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.39And there arosea sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other.Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus,40but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended bythe brothers tothe grace of the Lord.41And he went through Syria and Cilicia,strengthening the churches.

    Acts 15:36-41

  • The Church is Uniquely Equipped

    Not aesthetics but, rather Faithful father of two, Christian bank

    manager, local college professor, nurse practitioner, high school English teacher, software engineer, or social worker all sitting in the pews

  • Equipping the Saints

  • David Dawson

    David Dawson, Founder of Equipping The Saints, has been involved in discipleship and training for nearly forty years. He has taught Equipping The Saints at Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary, Dallas Bible College, and at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For twelve years he conducted a year-long internship on training laymen to do the work of ministry for the Field Education Department of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dave was the National Director for The Navigators for twelve years in Singapore. It was there that Equipping The Saints was developed to equip lay people. He travels extensively throughout America, Asia, Europe, the Eastern Block and Africa in cooperation with mission agencies and other groups to develop Equipping The Saints and discipleship training in national and international churches and denominations.