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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mystical or Reality

In Community of Christ what is Spiritual Formation?

Spiritual formation awakens disciples to the Divine Presence in the midst of everyday life. Through spiritual practices, and worship we learn to listen for God’s Spirit and discern invitations to share God’s love. (Church website)

Discernment, a practice of spiritual formation is a continual learning curve for me of which I barely scratch the surface. Speaking from my personal experience as one who tends to be a “doer” when I should be listening, I have experienced throughout my life varying degrees of self-reliance in ministry and mission. One may perceive they are engaging appropriately in ministry but there are subtle and perhaps even dramatic differences between the course of application I might think is required or to pursue vs that which the Spirit may nudge me to do. Much of ministry I fear to say, is predicated on the illusion of human competence being the source of knowledge, method and manner of applying ministry. Beyond that, this self-reliance also overlooks the spiritually intuitive notion of when ministry is needed by someone or missional opportunities are opportune at any given moment.

This reality is beyond human knowing. Ministry in its purest sense is attunement to the spirit, being present to insightful impressions that connect our ministry with people’s lives. Further, beyond the recognition of required ministry is the sense of compassion, empathy and love felt for that person. Even further, perhaps words of comfort, affirmation, counsel or hope, may accompany the impression to provide personal ministry that resonates in the life of the individual. Sometimes there is healing. And finally, there is empowerment in knowing the spirit is with me in ministry to engage in the actions that have been discerned for ministry. The fullness of the discernment experience is far reaching and impactful in ways we would never know without participation in trusting the Spirit to be present in our ministry.

The encounter for the minister and disciple is rich beyond words with blessing to be part of God’s loving ministries of grace. To be solely self-reliant upon our illusive sufficiencies is a poor imitation of Christ’s empowerment of his disciples. And so I ask myself, how important is spiritual formation?  Endearingly needed within our calling as disciples!

submitted by Kerry Richards

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Kerry. Spiritual formation/communion with Spirit requires life-long discipline. Human ego always seems to assume we know what to do on our own, but who among us is wise enough to solve problems of the world or the heart?



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