What is Faith Formation? (A creative approach to our future)
At its heart, faith formation is what the Christian life is all about. In our daily lives and as part of our faith community we engage in faith formation through worship, prayer, mission, working for justice and peace, celebrating and serving, evangelism and education. As a result, our faith may be nurtured, enlivened, sustained and formed.
Yet, O Lord, you are our God;
We are the clay, and you are our potter;
We are all the work of your hand. – Isaiah 64:8
At Calvary, currently, we engage in faith formation through age-level class offerings. We offer classes for children, youth and adults on Sunday mornings as well as during the week. In addition, there are a number of fellowship activities that build our blessed community. Persons who are a part of these events see and feel a difference in their lives as faith, understanding and community grows.
In some regards, ‘faith formation’ has become a catch-all term that can mean just about anything that our church does – from picnics and ice cream socials to Bible study and worship. It’s all faith formation, right? We’re looking at experiences that lead to life-long Christian formation and on-going spiritual growth, both of which occur in a variety of settings with variety of ages together. It is exciting!
If we’re looking for a one-liner to explain faith formation, here it is: equipping people to live as disciples of Jesus.
In John Roberto’s book, Generations Together, he reaffirms that faith formation informs, forms and transforms the person – whether a child, youth or adult – into a vital and life-giving Christian faith that is holistic: a way of the head, the heart, and the hands.
Faith formation does the same things for the church as it can immerse people into practices and a way of life that identifies them as followers of Jesus.
Roberto continues, “While expressed in many different ways, faith formation seeks to help people:
How will we live into this intentional faith formation? The first is to be engaged in the current offerings and additional opportunities presented. In addition, we open our minds to what God is saying to us, to open our lives up to the fullness that God provides, to be willing to try something new or uncomfortable as we live into living as disciples of Jesus.
- Grow in their relationship with God for the whole of life
- Live as disciples of Jesus at home, at work, in the community and in the world
- Develop an understanding of the Bible and their faith tradition
- Deepen their spiritual life and practices
- Engage in service and mission to the world
- Participate in the life and ministries of their faith community”
So what does this mean for Calvary? It means growing and nurturing faith; resource persons to help all of us, of every age, to strengthen our faith; multi-generational opportunities to learn from each other. As children of God, there is no better way to be all we can be as faith-filled persons, than in this village. We know the phrase, “it takes a village” and it does! When we think of a village as a small town of faith-filled people with a mission from God – that’s what we’re all about. A village is at its best when it is flexible. So we ask for your support, flexibility and participation as our village moves in new and enhanced ways.
In the coming weeks, as the Director of Faith Formation begins, be looking for additional or enhanced opportunities for all ages. These include local missions for all ages, new small groups conversations for Lent, a speaker series and more. Thank you for your continued support of Calvary, our mission, our ministry and our staff. We are excited for our future!
Blessings on all of us as we move into our creative approach to the future.
Nani Arning and Dione Russell
Directors of Faith Formation