Saturday, March 04, 2006

brian mclaren session 3: spiritual formation in practice

brianmcl.png Opawa Baptist has wifi. So these are notes, what I heard Brian say, [with a few editorial comments by me], as Brian spoke for a day on the topic of spiritual formation.

He is offering 16 practical ways for embrace spiritual formation. I have added in some practical examples which I think are happenning at Opawa.

1. Seeking both/and and recycling “failed” or “worn” approaches. Eg. Re-finding altar calls as a call to commitment without the abuse.

2. Emphasis on hospitality. Eg. Being together in homes for meals and informal interaction and conversation. This is disciple-making.

3. The use of queries. Eg. Spiritual friendship or spiritual direction. Any Christian can learn to ask queries – ask; listen; say “tell me more”

4. Engaging the arts. Eg. Both enjoying and creating.

5. A focus on practices. [check passionate practices on my blog]. Eg peripatetic prayer (walking around prayer, reflecting on Scripture as you walk), practicing God’s presence, responding to the poor, using “Jesus prayer,” fasting, feasting, silence, journalling. What spiritual practices should I do? The ones you need. How do you find out? Gain a spiritual friend (3). Practices should be liberating. What do we want our people to “do;” eg how to watch a movie as a spiritual experience?

6. Conveying the Biblical narrative. As a redemptive mega-story containing arguments, discoveries, regressions, recoveries, mistakes, insights, and more. Eg Stations of the cross. Eg Christmas Journey Eg. Godly play.

7. Re-visioning spiritual gifts. As “ours” not “mine” ie Help new believers discover what is their church’s spiritual gifts. As for mission “out there” not just ministry “in here.”

8. Trading heroes among traditions as part of the Tradition. Reading biographies and repeating sagely stories. It’s like a stack of trading cards that we share with other traditions. Eg.

9. Increasing transparency, so leaders are known as learners and strugglers. Leaders need to be sharing the practices that are sustaining them in this season.

10. Rediscovering the Bible for more than sermons or analytical studies. There is something harmful about using the Bible only for sermons. You can only deal with an episode, yet the Bible is a narrative. Eg. Reading the narrative. lectio divina, ignatian readings, memorization, meditation, centering prayer

11. Experimenting with fixed-hour prayer and the church calendar (seasons and holidays).

12. Seeking orthodoxy but not alone; adding orthopraxy (right practices) and orthopathy (right feelings). There is an emotional dimension to discipleship.

13. Making pilgrimages, retreats and mission trips, which are short-term monastic practices.

14. Redistributing energy from church work to the work of the church. Eg Alistair McKenzie’s books, like Where’s God on Monday?.

15. Working for justice by demonstrating, civil obedience, working for global justice isses. What if prophetic stands were an everyday part of discipleship?

16. Simplifying to the Greatest Commandment, the Lords Prayer and love.

Posted by steve at 03:13 PM


  1. Thanks for taking the time to take and post these notes.

    Comment by Graham Doel — March 4, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  2. Thanks for the notes, Steve!

    Comment by Mike — March 5, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  3. Thats for these. At the time I didn’t have a pen or paper and wished I had! Cheers.

    Comment by Spanky — March 9, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

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