According to Dallas Willard, “spiritual formation in a Christian tradition answers a specific human question: What kind of person am I going to be? It is the process of establishing the character of Christ in the person.” (Christianity Today)
The core of spiritual formation involves being transformed by one degree at a time into the likeness of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. This kind of transformation happens daily, not in a day and requires long obedience in the same direction. The tools or disciplines for spiritual formation include liturgy, prayer, fasting, meditation, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, spiritual direction, and worship.
We can understand discipleship as modeling and teaching Christians the precepts of the Bible, specifically prayer, doctrine, Christian living, and worship. Further, spiritual formation and discipleship are integrally related – in fact some consider the two terms synonymous.
We believe that worship provides the primary context for spiritual formation and discipleship. The liturgy’s elements of Word, including preaching and Sacrament form and shape us in powerful ways.
Anglican practices found in the Book of Common Prayer, specifically Morning and Evening Prayer (called the “Daily Office”), nurture both spiritual formation and discipleship as they assist in developing an integrated, holistic approach to life. Church of the Apostles places a strong emphasis on discipleship.
We seek to grow in knowledge of, and service to, the Lord through His revealed word. In addition to worship, we offer a weekly Bible study open to all ages. We will also regularly offer a class called “Taste of Anglicanism” designed to help us appreciate and understand the Anglican tradition and expression of faith.
We believe that every member of our church is a minister, and we are committed to helping everyone identify their spiritual gifts and God’s call on their lives through a weekend workshop. Our small groups will be designed to focus on discipleship and building relationships. Finally, we anticipate hosting other events that will challenge us and help us grow. All of these services or gatherings will be open to all.
Perhaps most importantly, we believe that discipleship happens only in a community as we learn from one another – “steel sharpens steel.” We simply cannot grow more into the likeness of Christ apart from a worshipping community.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. Acts 2:42-43
For more information, contact Cynthia Brust.