Christian Formation in a Contemporary Context
When I was a child believing in God was the norm, with most people identifying as Christian—even if only nominally. Parents sent their children to Sunday school and scripture classes, with only a handful of dissenting individuals being relegated to the non-scripture room. Back then Christian values informed society and ethics seemed relatively uncomplicated.
Recently, however, the West has undergone a radical redefinition of values, to the point where our society is largely regarded as being post-Christian. In an unfamiliar twenty-first century philosophical and ethical climate, how do Christians express an effective Christlike presence in the public square? How can Christians involved in ministry ensure that their character and values are continually being transformed into those of Christ, so that they can present His message in a trustworthy, relevant manner?
The process of growing in Christ, or Christian Formation, is progressive—it involves persistence and work. It involves making space for God in our daily lives; spending time with Him, not just in formal prayer but bathing in His presence. Getting to know Him through reading the Bible for purposes other than study can also increase our understanding of God’s character as He offers comfort and strength in times of need. Transformation takes place as we rest in God, letting Him inspire us with His imagination, and as we imitate Him in our daily walk and practice.
In a world that is clamouring for truth, an effective ministry requires virtuous character and sound ethics that are grounded in the reality of Jesus Christ. Our course Introduction to Formation for Ministry assists in the development of a framework for ethical practice that is underpinned by a transformative relationship with Him.