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Over the next few weeks, follow this series of posts about WCF’s call to spiritual formation and its importance in our community life together.

If you’ve been around WCF recently, you’ve likely heard some of these phrases pop up in conversations: “spiritual formation,” “being formed in the likeness of Christ for the sake of others,” and “practices.” They’ve become part of our language to communicate what the Elders see as vital to our shared life together at WCF.

Spiritual formation can be defined as the intentional process of cultivating our inner lives and relationships with God. We hope that spiritual formation becomes the spine of all that we do as a faith community centered on Jesus. In the same way that the spine in the human body is unseen, yet serves to support the entire body through the skeletal structure and the nervous system that runs along it, spiritual formation is the process through which we hope to nurture and grow our relationship with God.

Over the years in the Christian church, spiritual formation has been described by terms like discipleship, catechism or Christian Education. It may happen in settings like Sunday School (“Adult Nurture” in WCF-speak) or Small Groups. There are no shortage of programs and knowledge-based curriculums that we can all find to suit our preferences and goals. But spiritual formation helps us return to more organic images and reminds us that it’s not just for individual growth. Though we are the ones who seek to be formed, God’s Spirit is the one who is active in the process of change. Through regular spiritual practices together, we are placing ourselves in a setting for this growth and change to take place. At WCF, we hope to offer environments and events that cultivate this change in a communal setting. The deacons, staff and elders are all planning and evaluating what we do through this lens of spiritual formation.

Though spiritual formation can be done alone, it’s best when done in the context of community—with others. At WCF, we also believe that spiritual formation doesn’t just happen for our own sake. As we are changed by God’s love to be more like Christ, that growth is for the sake of others. You are most welcome for this journey together with us. 

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Next post: Formation, Not Just Information