Growing … being discipled … becoming mature … What does this mean and how is it accomplished?
At Grace, we call this process Spiritual Formation, and here is how we define that: a continual process -- facilitated by the Holy Spirit -- of being transformed into the image of Jesus for the sake of others and for God’s glory.
continual process – ongoing; never finished; class is always in session; not merely
content-driven; not confined to a classroom; never finished (Philippians 1:6)
facilitated by the Holy Spirit – “spiritual” formation is the work of the Holy Spirit; our part is to intentionally put ourselves in places and postures for the Spirit to do His work of transformation (Philippians 2:12-13)
being transformed into the image of Jesus – we’re all becoming someone by being formed by something; it’s not a question of if, but of to what and by what or by whom (Romans 12:2; 2Corinthians 3:18)
for the sake of others – not really or ultimately about us; we are blessed in order to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2-3)
for God’s glory -- it’s His work in us and through us to bring the fullness of Jesus to all of life so that all will know that He is God (Isaiah 61:3-4)
Throughout Scripture, trees are used as a motif for growth and spiritual formation for God’s people. (Jeremiah 17:7-8; Psalm 1:1-3; Isaiah 61:3-4; etc) Just as a healthy tree is always growing, and always either preparing to produce or actively producing fruit, so too a healthy Christ-follower is always growing and always either preparing to or actively bearing fruit. A tree needs several things to keep growing – food, good soil, water, sunshine, protection from the elements, pruning, etc. Likewise, a Christ-follower needs several things to keep growing and being transformed – knowledge, training, encouragement, support, community, etc.
Everything we do at Grace (from weekend services to mid-size communities to Great Adventure classes to Life Groups to serving opportunities) is for the purposes of our spiritual formation, human flourishing, and God’s glory. (Genesis 1:28; Ephesians 4:13-16; Acts 2:42-47)
If you need some watering … or some tending to and nurturing … or maybe you’re in a season of fruit-bearing … wherever you are, we’ve got a place for you to take your next step in being transformed into the image of Jesus for the sake of others and for God’s glory.