2015 - A YEAR OF SPIRITUAL FORMATION
Have you made any resolutions for 2015? New Year’s resolutions often last for a couple weeks and then we slip back to the comfortable rut of the previous behaviour.
Others like myself are hesitant to make a resolution in the first place. Why try to change anything if I’m likely to fail?
Maybe the problem with change is that we make too many of our resolutions independently without any accountability or communal aspect. If I decide that I’m going to stop snacking on junk food at bedtime, I will do fine until someone orders a pizza. If however, we make a household decision and choose to change the behaviour together, one can be strong when the other is weak. We can encourage each other with positive change. None of us have the will to stop snacking in our house.
I was able to start back to the gym last year and maintain the healthy practice because I saw my wife doing it. When she works out, she likes having one of her female friends with her and there is a social aspect. For me, I like to work out alone with headphones on and enjoy the solitude. But, I know when I go to the gym that Marsha is glad to see me going.
Change is very possible. Every time you move, start a new job, get married, divorced, have children or experience loss you embrace change. It’s immediate and you deal with it. Again, the communal aspects and accountability hold us to change.
So what if we resolve as a church to take a year of encouraging each other to grow in healthy ways? New Song Church has entered 2015 with a challenge to practice spiritual disciplines. Some people prefer to speak about spiritual formation, rather than engage that ‘discipline’ word. Whatever you call it, we are going to teach for a year on ways to enter into deeper communion with the Godhead.
We have a book as recommended reading to get your started. Written by Nathan Foster, ‘The Making Of An Ordinary Saint’ is a good fit for New Song Church. Nathan is the son of Richard Foster who wrote the classic ‘Celebration Of Discipline’, another fine read that you can order online. Nathan’s book is a good read for us in three ways.
1. Storytelling – who doesn’t like a good personal story?
2. Recovery – Nathan has had to work through addiction issues. We have stressed the importance of working through issues.
3. Social Work - Nathan is an associate professor of social work and theology at Spring Arbor University in Michigan. We are a church that focuses on poverty issues.
He will be our guest speaker on Jan 17,18.