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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. Catch up on our previous post here.

Matt 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

These words of Jesus come on the heels of his teaching on the Beatitudes, the revolutionary way of living a life of blessing in God’s kingdom. We hear formation language here when Jesus says, “whoever practices AND teaches these commands” (emphasis added). The Christian life is not merely an exercise in theological constructs. And neither is the Christian life merely an indisputable abstract and individual experience of the divine. Life in God’s kingdom is learned AND practiced … together.

The various streams of the Christian church have distinguished themselves by their theological positions. A brief glance of how denominations and traditions came to be in history reveals that many divided over theological propositions and positions: salvation by faith or by works (Catholic-Protestant); over when people should get baptized (infant baptism vs believers’ baptism); how decisions are to be made in a church community (congregational vs presbytery); how, what and when the filling of the Holy Spirit (Pentecostalism). In more recent history, the Western church has grappled over policies of women in leadership and the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the church, leading to further fracturing of communities and relationships. If we were to gather church communities simply around our propositions, positions and policies, we will proceed down the path of infinite permutations until we find ourselves worshiping in a church of the unholy trinity of me, myself and I. But that’s not the image Jesus conveys in his Beatitudes.

The ways of Jesus are to form a new community of people who Jesus calls will be “Salt” and “light” to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). The forming work of Christ in God’s people happens for the sake of others. And all of this takes place as God’s people gather around the practices they share together. 

In this season of life at WCF over the next two years, we are gathering around our practices of Sabbath, prayer, fasting, solitude, scripture, community, simplicity, generosity and hospitality. There are of course many different spiritual practices we could do. But these are the practices that we invite all to do together as we participate in our Sunday worship services, in our small groups and in our Nurture settings. Whether you are a newbie at any of them or a seasoned veteran in some of them, engaging in these practices together is what we hope will unite to God in Christ and to one another. Sharing in these practices together and sharing how these practices are forming us with one another is how we are formed more completely. Your formation in Christ is not for you alone. It is practiced with others and for the sake of others. 

What practices are you engaging with Jesus in? What has God been teaching you in the process? And who have you shared that with at WCF?

Got a question? We’d love to hear from you at

Next post: Communal Curiosity, not Just Respectful Tolerance of Individual Differences