How does someone live a Christian life? How does someone follow Jesus? What does growth look like, for a community or for an individual?
Christians have a few terms at hand to describe this larger idea that these questions lead to: discipleship, sanctification, growth, journey, walk, etc. All of these have Biblical roots and depth of meaning to them and are useful at different times. For our purposes at Grace Mosaic, we often use another Biblical and historical term: Spiritual formation or formation.
Formation is the noun form of the verb “form or transform,” which means to shape or mold something or someone with creativity, power, and purpose towards a desired end. The greek verb metamorpháo (from where we get our word metamorphosis) is the root biblical word for this understanding of formation. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit love to make, shape, and form things, right from the beginning of the story of the Bible. God is the artist who creates and forms a beautiful creation with loving intent.
Men, women, boys, and girls are all creations of this God. In the Bible, each human is called God’s Image Bearer, those who are formed and created after the form and likeness of God himself.
With the entrance of sin and evil into the human race came the vandalism, destruction, and mal-formation of our very selves, leading to death and decay (Gen. 3). To live a life with sin is to live according to practices and patterns that are opposed to God’s will and way.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s work of salvation is not only to save sinners out of death into eternal life in Jesus Christ but to restore, remake, and re-form Image Bearers—women, men, girls, and boys—after the image and likeness of The Image Bearer of God: Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:3). We are called “new creations in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:17), we are called to “put on our new selves” (Col. 3:10), and we are told that we are being transformed from one degree of glory to the next by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).
How does this happen? It happens through the slow and steady re-formation of all of who we are and all of what we do, think, say, and, more fundamentally, what we love. Spiritual formation (the Holy Spirit’s work of re-forming us in Christ) happens not in a quadrant of our lives but in the whole entirety of it, both in the spectacular and in the mundane. As Annie Dillard reminds us: “The way we spend our days.. is the way we live our lives.”
At Grace Mosaic, our vision is that we as a community would be formed in Christ together through the central practice of worship, communal practices that we do together, and individual & household practices that we practice by ourselves or with our closest of companions. It is in these realms and in these ways that we believe God is working in, among, and through us to redeem and restore.
Here is our model of Spiritual Formation:
The Central Practice
We believe that there is one central practice of the Church: the worship of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit on the Lord’s Day (Sunday). This is the center. It is the “splash” that ripples out into the rest of our lives. It is during this time together every Sunday that we are caught up in the presence and power of the Spirit and lifted into the very reality of heaven itself to respond to God’s call and join with the multi-everything communion of saints throughout time and place to give blessing, glory, honor, and power to the One who sits on the Throne and to the Lamb. Read more about our understanding of Christian worship here (coming soon).
10 Communal Practices
If worship is the central practice or “splash" of our lives, then the next ripple outward is filled with the practices that we do together as a church community.
- The Christian Year
- The Daily Prayer Project
- Community Groups
- Serving the Body
- Justice & Mercy
- Classes and Trainings
- Feasting & Fasting
- Sunday & Wednesday PM
- Gender & Age-Specific Ministry
10 Individual & Household Practices
The next ripple outward is filled with the practices that we do as individuals and as households.
- Bible & Prayer
- Justice & Mercy
- Feasting & Fasting
- Household Worship