Tuesday, September 30, 2008

calling aussies regarding family faith formation

I met someone today who wants to grow in the area of ordinary congregations exploring spiritual formation across generations. They don’t have many kids, but they don’t want to send those they have got out of the building. They want to experiment with providing ways for families – young and youth – to grow together.

And he wanted to know if he was alone. Are there any Aussie churches exploring this, trying experiments, having a go?

Posted by steve at 08:44 PM


  1. not very helpful as i am not in australia – but we have a lot here in scotland so we could share some stories at least if people would find that useful

    Comment by julie — October 1, 2008 @ 10:08 am

  2. Steve, I’m not in the UK either, but I’m interested in intergenerational approaches to spiritual formation versus the age-divided “school” model we have in most churches. I’ll stay tuned. -Chuck

    Comment by Chuck Warnock — October 1, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  3. Hi Julie, what can you point to in your context?


    Comment by steve — October 1, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  4. craig mitchell literally wrote the book on this…

    Comment by cheryl — October 2, 2008 @ 1:14 am

  5. Hi Steve – I hear what this guy is saying – and you could almost be talking about my context in the hills of Adelaide. I’d like to explore similar things (spiritual formation, prayer, reading the bible outside of Sunday…)with the congregation that I serve, but with most of my time being spent just running one community worship event per week, I don’t know how or when to start the conversation/journey….

    Comment by Simon — October 2, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  6. several of our smaller groups have been experimenting with the idea of ‘hallowing’ the everyday (f&h talk about that a bit in their book the shape of things to come) within the celtic tradition – family mealtimes are being eroded here in the uk and right now there is a bit of a focus on making meals special – we have tried to encourage people to begin with where they are at – take one meal a week – make it special in some way (l’abri were great at this thinking about the art of living) – choose a focus (either from the season of the year, a recent event in the news or a biblical theme) – in the tradition of Godly play and other non-coercive approaches, shape the mealtime around biblical ‘wondering’ – families have had a lot of really creative times together where everyone brings something to the table by way of story or an object (our last theme was lost and found and the neighbours we were sharing dinner with had their 15 year old bring the dog so he could tell an after dinner story about being lost !)- one of our more solidly ‘formed’ groups here regularly uses the theme of Sunday’s sermon for their meal and around the table chatter is centred on individual’s ideas and responses to that – we always give people very simple ideas for a short text, poem or prayer to listen to as we finish off and bring things together – or sometimes we give a small gift/picture/poem for people to take away with them and be mindful of during the coming week – people keep in touch online about that until we are back together again

    there are lots of other examples i can share – but i think the thing is to start small and simple, begin with where you are at already, take it straight from your cultural context and gather people around something they can all take a full part in – our first question is always ‘what can we all do ?’ even if is is simply ‘help set the table’ – our second is ‘if Jesus came to bring the best life ever, how will this contribute to making life ‘the best’ for everyone ?’

    hope that is useful,



    Comment by julie — October 2, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

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