6 Crucial Aspects of Faith Formation for the 21st Century
During the last months, month I shared that some new research has indicated 6 major areas that are an integral part of a new faith forming ecosystem: Generations matter, Family/Home matters, Digital/Online Matters, Age Groups Matter…still, Missional Matters, and Leaders Matter. I explored how generations matter and are extremely important in faith formation practices. I shared the importance of having faith formation education at the center of the Christian community. Keeping it at the center makes it intergenerational in its simplest form, intersecting worship, learning, service, ritual, prayer, and more. Another key aspect explored finding ways to use the digital/online world to encounter the sacred in our world. This approach encourages finding ways to intersect ways to include online and gathered programming together. I also shared how age-group programming is still needed, but should not remain as the only focus of gathering communities together.
Turning to the final two aspects, the missional aspect encourages us to focus on the spiritual, not religious as we encounter many who have never experienced a church life (the nones). In the words of Keith Anderson (Digital Cathedral) referring to those not religiously affiliated, “Nones are not problems to solve, or issues to be debated, but rather individuals to welcome as if they were Christ himself.” This means expanding our outreach, connection, relationship building, and engagement with people where they live — moving faith formation into the community.
The final aspect, leaders matter, focuses on the development and practice of church leadership. Cultivating the internal (heart and soul) by developing a spirituality that sustains and guides leadership is one part of the equation. The other piece involves the external (practices and skills) in order to develop the knowledge and skills to practice effective leadership in the congregation and the world.
Talk to Miriam for information.