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Spirituality Unit Theological Foundations for Ministry MMIN 611 Ross Cochran


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Title: Spirituality Unit Theological Foundations for Ministry MMIN 611 Ross Cochran

Spirituality UnitTheological Foundations for
MinistryMMIN 611Ross Cochran
  • Revised 12.22.08

The Goal of Theological Reflection
  • Spiritual Formation

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The Problem
Peterson, Eugene. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand
  • Pages 115-118. Work

Daily Activities
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Bifurcation (split into two)
  • Secular
  • Ordinary
  • Mundane
  • Profane
  • Common
  • Routine
  • Sacred
  • Extraordinary
  • Redeemed
  • Faith-laced
  • Special
  • Significant

The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes
are good, your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be
full of darkness. If then the light within you is
darkness, how great is that darkness!
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate
the one and love the other, or he will be devoted
to the one and despise the other. You cannot
serve both God and Money. . (Matthew 622-24)
Redeeming the Routines
  • Seeing Meeting God
  • in Daily Activity

Redeeming the Routines
  • By Robert Banks
  • Ten Theses
  • First Five the Gap between Belief and Daily Life
  • Second Five the Gap between Theology and Daily

Gap between Belief Daily Life
  • 1 - Few of us apply or know how to apply our
    belief to our daily work, or lack of work.

Gap between Belief Daily Life
  • 2 - We make only minimal connections between our
    faith and our spare time activities.

Gap between Belief Daily Life
  • 3 - We have little sense of a Christian approach
    to regular activities.

Gap between Belief Daily Life
  • 4 - Our everyday attitudes are partly shaped by
    the dominant values of our society.

Gap between Belief Daily Life
  • 5 - Many of our spiritual difficulties stem from
    the daily pressures we experience. Our faith
    problems arise more from our lived experience
    than they do from intellectual difficulties.

Gap between Theology Daily Life
  • 6 - Our everyday concerns receive little
    attention in church.

Gap between Theology Daily Life
  • 7 - Only occasionally do professional
    theologians address routine activities.

Gap between Theology Daily Life
  • 8 - When addressed, everyday concerns tend to be
    approached too theoretically.

Gap between Theology Daily Life
  • 9 - Only a minority of Christians read religious
    books or attend theological courses.

Gap between Theology Daily Life
  • 10 - Most churchgoers reject the idea of a gap
    between their beliefs and their ways of life.

Abrahams Best Days
  • From Ur to Canaan
  • Birth of Isaac
  • Sacrifice of Isaac

Abrahams Other Days
  • Servants
  • Donkey
  • Firewood
  • Ordinary, mundane tasks

Four Cornerstones
Our Life in Christ
Spirituality is
  • A way of processing experience through the lens
    of Christian faith, as well as a way of
    expressing faith through intentional action.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men, since you
know that you will receive an inheritance from
the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you
are serving. (Colossians 323-24)
Spirituality is
  • A way of processing experience through the lens
    of Christian faith DAILY, as well as a way of
    expressing faith DAILY through intentional action.

  • One
  • Seamless
  • Opposite of bifurcation

  • Biblical Principles

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not
one of them will fall to the ground apart from
the will of your Father. And even the very hairs
of your head are all numbered. So dont be
afraid you are worth more than many sparrows.
(Matthew 1029-31)
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to
one of these little ones because he is my
disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly
not lose his reward. (Matthew 1042)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your
life, what you will eat or drink or about your
body, what you will wear. Is not life more
important than food, and the body more important
than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air they do not sow or
reap or store away in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more
valuable than they? (Matthew 625-26)
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to
his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See
how the lilies of the field grow. They do not
labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even
Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one
of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the
field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown
into the fire, will he not much more clothe you,
O you of little faith? (Matthew 627-30)
Integration requires Imagination
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in
my name welcomes me. (Matthew 185)
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so
doing some people have entertained angels without
knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you
were their fellow prisoners, and those who are
mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
(Hebrews 132-3)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men, since you
know that you will receive an inheritance from
the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you
are serving. (Colossians 323-24)
Israel / Christ / Christians
Laity laos
Clergy kleros
Laity laos
The people of God
Clergy kleros (1 Peter 53)
Towards a Christian View of Work
Questions regarding Work
  • What is work about?
  • What kinds of work have you done?
  • How should Christians understand and approach
    their work?
  • Why is it important to understand work

Four Views of Work
  • The Secular View of Work
  • The Two Story View of Work
  • The Strategic Soapbox or Mainstream Model of
  • Work has Value Intrinsic Instrumental

Problems Associated with Work
  • Work as an escape.
  • Work as a means of self-promotion
  • Work can become out of balance with other life
  • Imbalance between work and rest (Sabbath).

Problems Associated with Work (contd)
  • Laziness / Idleness
  • Materialism
  • Meaninglessness

So I hated life, because the work that is done
under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is
meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated
all the things I had toiled for under the sunSo
my heart began to despair over all my toilsome
labor under the sun
What does a man get for all the toil and anxious
striving with which he labors under the sun? All
his days his work is pain and grief even at
night his mind does not rest. This too is
meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 217-23)
The Sunday - Monday Gap
  • sacred
  • preaching/missions
  • the church
  • eternal
  • soul
  • divine
  • prayer
  • spiritual
  • secular
  • secular work
  • the world
  • temporal
  • body
  • human
  • politics
  • material

  • Any activity done on a frequent or daily basis,
    including but not limited to the activities
    associated with employment and a paycheck.

SpiritualitySome Definitions
  • ... a way of interpreting experience through
    the lens of Christian faith as well as a way of
    expressing faith through intentional action.

Christian Spirituality
  • An all-encompassing way of seeing and
    encountering people, things, activities, and
    experiences which originates from God and which
    seeks to discover, absorb, and to disclose the
    nature and mind of God.
  • (Consensus that this is a working definition
    reached by participants in a previous 420(V)

An internal perspective which proceeds from our
understanding of God and which brings oneness to
our daily activities. (A revision of a
definition constructed in collaboration by a
previous 420(V) class.
A way of seeing the sacred dimension in every
activity or experience of life. This perspective
is founded on our relationship with and our
understanding of God and it gives energy to and
blesses ourselves and others.
 A lifestyle guided by God that seeks to discern
and disclose the will of God.
A spirituality of work necessitates our
orienting ourselves toward the divine through our
daily activity of improving and sustaining the
world. Gregory Pierce (as quoted by William
Diehl in Just Doing My Job, p. 29.
Elements of a Spirituality of Work
  • God created us as workers.
  • Work is integral to our Divine design. (Gen.
  • We are participants with God in the on-going care
    of his world and its inhabitants. (Co-creation)

Elements of a Spirituality of Work (contd)
  • Work blesses ourselves others.
  • provides for our families
  • contributes to a larger economic system that
    enables others to survive and thrive.

Elements of a Spirituality of Work (contd)
  • Work as meaningful activity.
  • Work gives us a mission field.
  • Our competence can be a testimony to our faith.

Elements of a Spirituality of Work (contd)
  • Hard work can be holy work.
  • Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
    as working for the Lord,. It is the Lord Christ
    you are serving. (Col. 323-24)
  • Our work is a response to our calling and

Needed A new understanding of the sacred -
secular distinction
  • Not preaching sacred all else secular
  • All Gods creation is sacred
  • Life lived in the name of Christ and acc. To the
    will of God sacred
  • Secular otherwise

New Directions
  • Restore a sense of Giftedness and Calling
  • Discontinue perpetuating the Sacred-Secular
  • Restore the Priesthood of all believers.

What can we conclude?
  • God is concerned about lifes details.
  • There is an all-ness to Christian living.
  • Almost any activity contains the ingredients to
    bake a sacred cake.
  • Many of the activities which we must do each day
    can be done in a redemptive way.

  • If everything in general can be spiritual, then
    nothing in particular needs our special
  • If evangelism is equated with taking out the
    trash, then evangelism is diluted. Yet we need to
    eliminate the gap between the sacred and the

Whether or not my day is filled with sacred
activity has less to do with what I am DOING
and more to do with who I am BECOMING.
An Internal Journal
Work is not always required of man. There is
such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation
of which is now fearfully neglected. -- George
MacDonaldHurry and love are fundamentally
incompatible. - John Ortberg
Darrell Tippins, Pilgrim Heart. Chapter 5
Resting the Day Sabbath becomes Joy
  • Eight Beatitudes for our Time

Eight Beatitudes re Sabbath
  • Happy are those who serve the world by abandoning
    it for a little while.
  • Blessed are those who disappear for a little
    while in order to be fully present.
  • Blessed are those who enter silence, for they
    will hear God.
  • Happy are those who rest, for they will get their
    work done.
  • Happy are the playful, for they will be serious
  • Part of our weariness results not from the
    weight of our work, but from the dreary
    joylessness of our working lives. (p. 72)

Eight Beatitudes re Sabbath
  • Happy are the imperfectionists, for they will
    achieve much.
  • The point is not to endorse uncaring or sloppy
    work, but to call us to be strategic with our
    limited resources.
  • Happy are those who drive in the slow lane, for
    they will arrive in peace.

Eight Beatitudes re Sabbath
  • Blessed are those who build walls for they will
    be fully connected.
  • Saints are be definition those who are bordered
    off from things that compromise or contaminate.
  • come out from them and be separate from them.
  • Technology has brought the outside world into the
    living room, thus our homes no longer have
    walls.and walls provide protection (paraphrase
    of Mary Pipher pages 78-79)
  • If all the world becomes the world of work,
    then we have rendered impossible any encounter
    with the holy (which by definition, requires
    devoted attention). p. 79

Eight Beatitudes re Sabbath
  • Happy are those who say no, for they will be
  • Efficiency experts examining Jesus
    productivity might conclude that he was a
    slacker. (p. 80)
  • many of us try to be busier than the Master.
  • RC consider Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana
    (John 2)

Eight Beatitudes re Sabbath
  • Blessed are those who know the tie that binds,
    for they will know the freedom of belonging.
  • Just as the right kind of separation can renew
    our spirits and bodies, so also connecting with
    others in the right way can banish exhaustion and
    revive our spirits (81)
  • I have learned that I can endure a fair amount
    of tension, conflict, and even mountains of
    labor, provided I am connected to other in the
    right way. I am energized and empoweredby
    community. (81)
  • Time spent in authentic community is also a kind
    of Sabbath rest. (81)

Practicing Gods Presence From Randy Harris
  • Today I will be incompetent.
  • Today I will be fully present to others and to
  • Today I will be Christ to others.
  • Today I will see Christ in others.

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10 Things to Do Every Day
  • Adjust your attitude.
  • Be thankful.
  • Serve someone.
  • Pursue holiness.
  • Pray.
  • Express love.
  • Ask, What does God need me to do?
  • Do something noble.
  • Make someone smile.
  • Imagine better, and pursue it.

Theological Foundations for Christian
MinistrySession 5 Spiritual Formation Thomas
9 Styles Fosters Streams
  • MMIN 611 Ross Cochran, Ph.D.
  • Revised Nov. 1, 2007 1145 am
  • Filmed Nov. 1, 2007

Preparation for this Session
  • Before viewing this session, print out the pdf
    file entitled, NT Perspects Spirit Form
    611.pdf (New Testament Perspectives on
    Spiritual Formation).
  • Also, read the article on Henri Nouwen by Phillip

Contents of this Session
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Historical pathways through which Christians have
    pursued the spiritual life (Fosters Streams)
  • Typology of Spiritual Styles (Gary Thomas)
  • Tools for Formational Ministry

Luke 414-30
  • Nazareth synagogue
  • Jesus chooses the readinga Messianic text
  • Peoples perceptions of Jesus shift from all
    spoke well of him to lets throw him off the
  • Lukes emphasis on the inclusiveness of God and
    the inclusion of the Gentiles

Groome Ministry in Sharing Faith, pp. 300
  • This incident Luke 418-19 presents the basic
    functions of Jesus ministry as
  • (1) to preach the healing and prophetic Word of
    God to all,
  • (2) to tend with love and justice to human
    suffering and alienation,
  • (3) to call people in a community of free and
    right relationship with God, self, others, and
    creation, and
  • (4) to live as if God rules in their lives.

Philip Yancey on Henri Nouwen
  • Read MSWord doc with above title.
  • Other background on Nouwen.
  • Listen to the following presentation on Richard
    Fosters Spiritual Streams. With which
    Stream would you associate Nouwen?

Streams of Living Water Celebrating the Great
Traditions of the Christian Faith
  • Richard J. FosterHarperSanFrancisco, 1998

What are Streams?
  • Traditions emphases dimensions of the spiritual
  • Jesus is (1) source, and (2) full embodiment of
    all dimensions.
  • Ressourcement (p. xii)
  • in our day God is bringing together a mighty
    Mississippi of the Spirit. (p. xv)

The Six Streams
  • Contemplative Tradition
  • Holiness Tradition
  • Charismatic Tradition
  • Social Justice Tradition
  • Evangelical Tradition
  • Incarnational Tradition

Fosters template
  • Seeking a Historical Paradigm
  • Seeking a Biblical Paradigm
  • Seeking a Contemporary Paradigm
  • Defining the _________ Tradition
  • Discovering the Major Strengths
  • Understanding the Potential Perils
  • Practicing the _________ Tradition
  • The Call to __________ Living

The Six Streams
  • Contemplative the Prayer-Filled Life
  • Holiness the Virtuous Life
  • Charismatic the Spirit-Empowered Life
  • Social Justice the Compassionate Life
  • Evangelical the Word-Centered Life
  • Incarnational the Sacramental Life

The Streams Embodied in Jesus
  • Prayer and Intimacy
  • Purity of Heart
  • Life in the Spirit (Luke 3-4)
  • Justice and Shalom (Luke 418-19)
  • Proclaiming the Evangel
  • The Sacrament of the Present Moment
  • Invitation to Imitation Follow me.

The Divine paradigm
  • Imitatio Christi - The Imitation of Christ
  • Learning to walk in his steps (1 Peter 221)
  • Jesus in his living provides a clear paradigm
    for our living. (p. 3)
  • The primacy of the Gospels.

One of the best things we can do for one
another, then, is to encourage regular immersion
in the Gospel narratives, helping each other
understand Jesus perceptions into life and his
counsel of growth and then making constant
application to our daily experience. (Streams,
p. 3)
Henri Nouwens ( our) spirituality
  • With which of Fosters Spiritual Streams would
    you associate Nouwen?
  • Which Stream best describes your spirituality?
  • Listen to the following presentation of Gary
    Thomas spiritual styles. With which of Thomas
    spiritual styles would you associate Henri Nouwen?

Gary Thomas 9 Spiritual Styles
  • Gary Thomas, Sacred Pathways Discover Your
    Soul's Path to God (Nashville Thomas Nelson
    Publishers, 1996). Although inspired by the
    Myers Briggs typology, Thomas proposes a typology
    of his own that envisions a framework of nine
    "sacred pathways" -- nine ways in which different
    people typically prefer to relate to God, or the
    spiritual dimension, or Ultimate Reality. Thomas
    identifies nine types.
  • 1. the Naturalist who is most inspired to love
    God out-of-doors by being in a natural setting.
    Examples writers Annie Dillard and Loren Eisley.

Gary Thomas 9 Spiritual Styles
  • the Sensate who loves God with the senses --
    through awareness of taste, smell, touch, sight,
    and sound. Examples there are many in the poems
    of Galway Kinnell, where human sensuality is
    juxtaposed with family love, where there is equal
    acknowledgement of the fate of the dead and of
    the unity of the living characters in the film
    Babette's Feast
  • the Traditionalist who loves God through ritual
    and symbol. Examples religion scholar Huston
    Smith, people who relish the Latin of the
    traditional Mass, the Hebrew of the Bible, the
    Arabic of the Qur'an, or the Sanskrit of the
    Vedas, Sutras, and Shastras.

Gary Thomas 9 Spiritual Styles
  • the Ascetic who prefers to love God in solitude
    and simplicity. Examples (at certain times in
    his life) Thomas Merton and Duane Elgin (author
    of the book Voluntary Simplicity).
  • the Activist who loves God through contributing
    toward justice and the enhancement of life in the
    world. Examples Mahatma Gandhi and Martin
    Luther King, Jr.
  • the Caregiver who loves God by loving others.
    Examples Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa.

Gary Thomas 9 Spiritual Styles
  • the Enthusiast who loves God with mystery and
    celebration. (The term 'enthusiast' is derived
    from a Greek root-word which means God-filled.)
    Examples women's separatist theologian Mary
    Daly, poet and men's movement leader Robert Bly,
    creation theologian Matthew Fox Pentecostalist
    Christians, Hasidic Jews, and Sufi Muslims in
  • the Contemplative who loves God through
    contemplation. Examples (at certain times in
    his life) Thomas Merton, Bernadette Roberts, and
    members of cloistered orders in general.
  • the Intellectual who loves God with the mind.
    Examples Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, evangelical
    theologian Francis Schaeffer.

With which of Gary Thomas spiritual styles would
you associate Henri Nouwen?Could a person have
more than one style?What would you say is your
style? How would you visually represent the
reality of multiple styles?
Maturity Texts
  • you became imitators of us and of the Lordand
    so you became a model to all the believers in
    Macedonia and Achaia (1 Thessalonians 16-7)
  • until we all reach unity and become mature,
    attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of
    Christ (Ephesians 413)
  • What is the meaning of teleos in 1 Corinthians

Maturity Texts
  • you are slow to learnyou need milk, not solid
    foodsolid food is for the mature, who by
    constant use have trained themselveslet us leave
    the elementary teachings about Christ and go on
    to maturity (Hebrews 511-63)

What constitutes Christian maturity?
  • How will you know when a person possesses
    Christian maturity?

Manifestations of Christian Maturity
  • Servant attitude
  • Humility
  • Authenticity
  • Integrity
  • Forgiveness
  • Other manifestations?

None of self an all of Thee
  • 3. Day by day His tender mercy,
  • Healing, helping, full and free,
  • Brought me lower while I whispered,
  • Less of self, and more of Thee.
  • Less of self, and more of Thee,
  • Less of self, and more or Thee,
  • Brought me lower while I whispered,
  • Less of self, and more of Thee.
  • 4. Higher than the highest heaven,
  • Deeper than the deepest sea,
  • Lord, Thy love at last has conquered
  • None of self, and all of Thee.
  • None of self, and all of Thee,
  • None of self, and all of Thee,
  • Lord, Thy love at last has conquered
  • None of self, and all of Thee.
  • 1. Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
  • That a time could ever be,
  • When I proudly said to Jesus,
  • All of self, and none of Thee.
  • All of self, and none of Thee,
  • All of self, and none of Thee,
  • When I proudly said to Jesus,
  • All of self, and none of Thee.
  • 2. Yet He found me I beheld Him
  • Bleeding on th accursed tree,
  • And my wistful heart said faintly,
  • Some of self, and some of Thee.
  • Some of self, and some of Thee,
  • Some of self, and some of Thee,
  • And my wistful heart said faintly,
  • Some of self, and some of Thee.

How is Maturity Achieved?
  • Intentional Pursuit
  • Repeated Practice of Mature Qualities
  • Work of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5-6)
  • Continually shaped by Experience, Scripture
    Others (2 Timothy 310-17)
  • Evolution of Terminology for these processes
  • Religious Education
  • Christian Education
  • Faith Development
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Christian Spiritual Formation

What is the Goal of Spiritual Formation?
  • Paul
  • until Christ is formed in you. (Gal. 419)
  • to be transformed metamorphosis by the
    renewing of our mind (Romans 121-2)
  • until we all reach maturity (Ephesians 4)
  • Thomas Groome To form, inform and transform
    Christian Identity and Agency.

Spiritual Formation
  • Before viewing the following slides session,
    print out the pdf file entitled, NT Perspects
    Spirit Form 611 (New Testament Perspectives on
    Spiritual Formation). You should have received
    it from me by email. I will also put it on

New Testament Perspectives on Spiritual
  • Follow along using the 8 page document by this

Definitions of Spiritual Formation
  • Spiritual formation is a process of being
    conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of
    others. (Robert Mulholland, Invitation to a
    Journey, p. 12)
  • Spiritual Formation The grace-driven
    developmental process in which the soul grows in
    conformity to the image of Christ. (Kenneth Boa,
    Conformed to the Image of Christ, p. 515)
  • the process of becoming what we were first
    intended to be and are now allowed to be by the
    justifying work of Christ. (Les Steele, On the
    Way, p. 24).

Definitions of Spiritual Formation, contd
  • Christian spiritual formation has to do with
    finding out through and with the help of the
    Christian community
  • How to be Christian in this time and this place.
  • How to recognize and confess our self-deception.
  • How to walk according to the Spirit.
  • How to recognize where we are refusing Christian
    Story, such as praying, meditating, repenting,
    loving, welcoming the stranger.
  • How to actualize our Christian vocation over the
    course of a lifetime.
  • (Susanne Johnson, Christian Spiritual Formation,
    pp. 28-29).

Definitions of Spiritual Formation, contd
  • Spiritual formation describes the continuing
    work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer
    which conforms the child of God more and more to
    the image of Christ (2 Cor. 318). This work of
    the Spirit is possible only as we cooperate with
    God by walking in the light as He is in the
    light (1 John 17) by setting our hearts on
    things above (Col. 31) by ridding ourselves of
    the deeds of the flesh (Col. 38) and by putting
    on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility,
    gentleness, and patience (Col. 312).
  • Robert P. Lightner, Salvation and Spiritual
    Formation, in Christian Educators Handbook on
    Spiritual Formation, eds. Gangel Wilhoit, p. 39.

Definitions of Spiritual Formation, contd
  • In summary, from a biblical foundation,
    spiritual formation is an intentional,
    multifaceted process which promotes the
    transformation by which Christ is formed in us so
    that we can become His continually maturing
    disciples. (John M. Dettoni, What is
    Spiritual Formation in Christian Educators
    Handbook on Spiritual Formation, eds. Gangel
    Wilhoit, p. 16)
  • Christian spirituality is our awareness of God
    and our response to God. William J. Connolly,
    S.J. Boston College
  • Christian spiritual formation is the life-long,
    multi-faceted process through which we
    intentionally partner with Gods Spirit, Gods
    Word and Gods people to progress towards the
    goal of becoming Christ-like in every dimension
    of our being and doing. -- Ross Cochran

New Testament Perspectives on Spiritual Formation
  • See pdf file entitled, NT Perspects Spirit

Spiritual Formation
  • Everything the church does is formative /
  • Elliot Eisners Three Curricula
  • Explicit
  • Implicit
  • Null
  • Examples how new members are introduced the
    nature of the youth program preaching
  • Staff ministers as environmentalists

John 717
  • Doing both precedes and completes knowing
  • We hear and understand only those things we
    already half know.

Formative Activities
  • Giving a Blessing
  • Lectio divina
  • Missional Bible Study

Giving a Blessing
  • Biblical Foundations
  • Isaac blessing Jacob (Genesis 271-40)
  • The Beatitudes spoken by Jesus. Blessed are
    (Matthew 51ff)
  • The laying on of hands in order to commission
    (Acts 66 1 Timothy 411-14)
  • some Psalms (Psalm 1)

II. Recommended Reading The Blessing, by Gary
Smalley and John Trent, 1986.
  • The authors advocate that parents need to
    communicate genuine acceptance of their children.
    They go on to name five elements of the
  • Meaningful touch
  • Spoken words
  • Expressing high value
  • Picturing a special future
  • An active commitment

III. Appropriate Occasions for a Blessing
  • Births birthdays
  • Weddings funerals
  • Graduations other special school celebrations
  • Any time people are undergoing transition (moving
    away career change)
  • Any time they think it is a significant event in
    their lives (engagements drivers license)

IV. How to Give a Blessing
  • Consider the occasion.
  • Consider the context.
  • Imagine how you want the blessing to be received
    and heard.

IV. How to Give a Blessing (contd)
  • Write the blessing. (writing it out ahead of
    time allows you to choose better language than is
    possible impromptu. If the occasion is special
    enough to warrant a blessing, it is important
    enough to demand that you give it considerable
    thought and preparation.
  • Consider how to help the person(s) enter into the
    experience of being blessed. (Have them stand
    hold their hands hold up your hand, etc.).

How can I allow the participants to participate?
IV. How to Give a Blessing (contd)
  • Memorize the blessing(?). Optional. Memorizing
    it enables you to look the recipients in the
  • Sometimes it would be appropriate to give them a
    (framed?) copy of the blessing you have given

V. Some Examples
  • A Wedding Amy and John
  • A chapel service at HU
  • A prayer for a family in the ICU waiting room.

Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading)
  • A centuries old method of reading the Bible in a
    group setting. Not a study per se, but a
    contemplative reading of Scripture that blends
    reflection and reading.
  • A devotional tool, not a scholarly exploration of
    the text. Both scholarship and discipleship
    approaches to the Bible are needed. This is
    decidedly of the latter type.
  • A caution Used alone without other methods of
    study for balance, this kind of reading can
    devolve into a collective sharing of knee jerk
    reactions that become disconnected from, even
    contradictory to, the truths carried by the
    biblical text.

Lectio Divina (contd)
  • Pick a biblical text. Biblical narratives or
    parables seem to work best because stories allow
    their hearers to enter them.
  • Choose three readers and prepare them for their
    roles. Stress the importance of the silence.
    Instruct them to use a watch to time the periods
    of silence to ensure adequate times of quiet.
    Try to use three different translations.
  • Next, ask the group to form groups of 5-6
    participants and get in circles. Do this before
    explaining the experience further.
  • Explain the procedure to the group participants
    We are going to be engaging in an exercise that
    Christians have practiced for centuries. We are
    going to listen while three readers read a
    biblical passage to us. These readings will be
    interspersed with some times of quiet in order to
    think about what we are hearing. At the end of
    the readings, there will be another period of
    silence. Then, I will ask you what you think the
    story is about.

Lectio Divina (contd)
  • 5. Conduct the exercise. A suggested format
  • a period of silence (about 3 minutes)
  • 1st reading
  • a period of silence (about 2 minutes)
  • 2nd reading
  • silence (about 2 minutes)
  • 3rd reading
  • silence (about 3 minutes)
  • Discussion (suggested opening questions)
  • What is this story about?
  • What truths are contained in this passage?
  • Where does this story intersect peoples lives
  • What does this story mean to you?

Lectio Divina (contd)
  • Other considerations
  • Where is the group going to be? Will there be
    noise or other distractions? Ringing phones?
    (have cell phones turned off).
  • Judge the length of a passage, avoiding ones that
    have insufficient content or are too long.
  • Have the passage read in three different
    translations of the Bible if possible. If you
    know you are going to be doing lectio divina, you
    could take along some different translations to
    ensure variety in the readings.
  • Some recommended passages to begin
  • Mark 1046-52 (blind Bartimaeus)
  • Luke 1038-42 (Mary and Martha)
  • Luke 1511-32 (prodigal son)

A Missional Bible Study Approach
  • Ross Cochran
  • Revised Sept. 7, 2006

A suggested procedure
  • Ask, What concerns and values am I conscious of
    right now?
  • Ask, What in this text stands out to me as
    remarkable or outstanding?
  • Have someone provide background, contextual and
    hermeneutical information.
  • Ask, What does this text indicate that God has
    done or is presently doing?
  • Ask, How can I better cooperate with Gods
    present action in the world?

  • Ask, What truths in this text comfort me?
  • Ask, What truths in this text challenge me?
  • If I lived the truths of this text more
    consistently, what new ways of being might appear
    in my relationships and daily routine?
  • What specific new action could I commit to right

A God-Centered Life . . .
  • Sees what Jesus saw.
  • Hears what Jesus heard.
  • Values what Jesus valued.
  • Walks where Jesus walked.
  • Walks how Jesus walked.

By seeing what Jesus saw.
  • He saw crowds and had compassion on them.
  • He saw individuals. (Zacchaeus)
  • He saw sinners, but didnt see their sin as their
    final answer.

By hearing what Jesus heard.
  • He heard the voice of his Father This is my
    beloved son in whom I am well pleased.
  • He didnt hear people murmuring about him (Luke

By valuing what Jesus valued.
  • I desire mercy, not sacrifice. (Mt. 99-13
  • Greater matters lesser matters. (Matthew
  • Love of God love of Neighbor. (Mt. 2234-40)
  • Love God by loving your neighbor.
  • Hebrews 610
  • Matthew 523-24
  • Matthew 2531-46
  • 1 John 316-17

By walking where Jesus walked.
  • Throughout Galilee (Matt. 423)
  • In the marketplace.
  • A friend of sinners. (Matt. 1119)
  • Among all types of folks.

By walking how Jesus walked.
  • He forgave.
  • He listened.
  • He loved.
  • He served.
  • leaving you an example that you should follow in
    his steps.

Jesus Forgave / Forgives
  • Luke 736-50 John 81-11
  • love keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Cor. 135)
  • if you do not forgive (Matt. 614-15)
  • Anne Lamott Refusing to forgive is like . . .

Jesus Listened
  • What do you want for me to do for you?
  • (Mark 1036, 51)

Jesus Listened
  • Adapted from Bob Anderson, Mastering Leadership
    Leading with Integrity, Courage and Purpose. An
    unpublished manuscript. Used by permission of
    the author.

Authentic Dialogue
Inquiry Advocacy
Discussion vs. Dialogue
Authentic Dialogue
Compassion Courage
Authenticity vs. Manipulation
Jesus Loved/Loves
  • Mark 1021
  • Jesus sees me as I see my child.
  • Jesus will never love you more than he already

Jesus Served
  • 10 Truths about Serving

Serving is the Primary Mission of
  • Matthew 935-38 423
  • Matthews summary He healed he preached he
  • Mark 1045
  • Jesus summary I serve.

2. Serving is a primary expression of our faith.
  • James 215-18
  • Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is not
    alone, it will expressed through ministry.
  • Galatians 56 The only thing that counts is
    faith expressing itself through love.

Serving is a primary expression of our love for
others. ___________________________
  • the full extent of his love.
  • So, he washed their feet (John 13)
  • Gal. 513-14

Serving is a primary expression of our love for
God. ___________________________
  • Languages of love (touch, words, gifts,
    attentiveness, helping, etc.)
  • What is Gods language of love?
  • Hebrews 610 1315

5. Serving is a way to bless others.
  • 1 John 316-18
  • Others NEED to be blessed.
  • We WANT to bless others.

Paul Faulkner We need a philosophy of life
  • Bless others, beginning with our families.
  • Gives meaning and purpose to life.
  • Teaches right from wrong.
  • Is time tested.
  • Answers the big questions of death/dying.

6. Serving is a way to bless ourselves.
  • This is not why we serve.
  • A serendipity.
  • What Jesus taught (John 1315)
  • What Jesus promised (John 1317)
  • You will be blessed if you serve.
  • It is more blessed to ______ than to receive.
    (Acts 2035)

7. Serving is a way to combat selfishness.
  • Our biggest problem is
  • Journey from self-centeredness to selflessness.
  • Simple, but not easy.. (Don McLaughlin)
  • Sin is the fruit of the selfishness tree.

8. Serving is a way to encounter Jesus.
  • Matthew 2531-46
  • When you did it for them, you did it for me.

9. By serving we become like Christ.
10. When we serve, we reveal Christ to others.
  • What God has done to us, he wants to do through
    us. (Don McGloughlin)
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