Spiritual Formation

As pastor of discipleship at my local church, one of the things I study and care deeply about is the way that God forms His people. One of the things that I spend time on is writing a curriculum based on the topics the Church has used in its catechesis. While The Wesleyan Church does not use the question and answer format of traditional catechisms–we don’t even have a program like this, nor do I think we need to embrace it–I do see a need for churches to train new Christians for more than a quick 6-week class on basic Christian doctrine, serving in a local church, spiritual gifts, etc.

Thus, I’m writing a two-year series called CORE. Each series lasts for 6-8 weeks and incorporates personal and corporate spiritual disciplines. I hope to blog through these things as I write. In two years, people have the chance to learn more about these 8 topics:

1. How God Changes Us: A Wesleyan Ordo Salutis
Topics covered include what it means to be a disciple, what happens when we get saved, the things God uses in our lives to transform us, the goal of the Christian life, changing our minds, hearts, bodies, and souls, engaging in spiritual disciplines, and finding your sacred pathway. 

2. How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth.
Topics covered include how God used human authors to write Scripture, devotional reading, Scripture as a sacrament, the role of the Holy Spirit as we read, how we got our Bible, an overview of Bible translations, personal Bible study tips, memorizing Scripture, and living out the words of Scripture.

3. The Nicene Creed.
Topics covered include how we got the creeds, what they do for us, their place in our worship, and a look at each of the parts of the creed: Almighty God and Creator, Jesus Christ and his virgin birth, suffering death, burial, resurrection, ascension, second coming and judgment, the Holy Spirit, the church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and eternal life.

4. Old Testament Survey
Topics covered include the story of God in the Old Testament, the relationship of the OT to the NT, reading the Law, Old Testament narrative, the psalms and poetry, wisdom literature, and the prophets. Builds on “How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth.” 

5. New Testament Survey
Topics covered include the story of God in the New Testament, reading the gospels, Acts, Paul’s letters, John’s letters, the general letters, and the book of Revelation. Builds on “How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth.”

6. Missional Living: Sent Ones Right Here, Right Now
Topics covered include the mission of God in the world, living as a missionary where you are, relational evangelism, the changing face of Christianity in our world, and going on short-term mission trips.

7. Prayer: Communicating with God
Topics covered include a look at the Lord’s Prayer, silence, forms of prayer (like intercession, confession, breath prayer, etc.), unanswered prayer, and prayer as lifeline for communicating with God.

8. The Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Virtues
Topics covered include wisdom in place of pride, hope in place of greed, love in place of lust, justice in place of anger, temperance in place of gluttony, faith in place of envy, courage in place of sloth, and the importance of repentance for our sin.

In addition to blogging through this, you may find series on the spiritual disciplines, biblical exegesis, Wesley’s works, etc. Enjoy!

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