Adult Christian Formation Team

Adult Christian Formation (ACF)

4/4/2018

The Adult Christian Formation team serves StoCo’s mission, which is to:

 

  1. Make Disciples Who Make Disciples
  2. Develop the Next Generation of Leaders
  3. Nurture a Multicultural Faith Community
  4. Partner with God’s Mission in Evangelism and Justice

Mike Bartosch is the StoCo Leadership Team’s liaison to the Adult Christian Formation team. He is currently seeking others to join this ministry team.

One of the first tasks of the StoCo ACF team will be to define our mission, purpose, and goals. In that context, the ideas shared below are a composite of how a number of different churches have defined the mission and goals of Adult Christian Formation.

“Christian formation is the lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation. Every experience in our lives can provide us with the opportunity to express our faith; the challenge we face is recognizing these opportunities and learning ways to live a sometimes-countercultural life in a secular world.”

“Adult Formation is committed to spiritual transformation in the lives of individuals and the congregation by providing community, education, and resources that empower the congregation to grow in faith, deepen in theological and biblical reflection, and understand our lives as the priesthood of God's faithful people in and to the world

“For serious congregants, adult education is not optional. Adult formation is the gathering and strengthening place for learning to be a Christian, for mentoring others in faith, and for practicing faith corporately. It is the heartbeat of churchgoing in the twenty-first century.”

Adult Christian Formation provides guidance, vision, opportunities, and resources which seek to:

  1. Educate and engage the whole person—intellect, passions, and spirit—in a process and practice of Christian maturity
  2. Form or shape a meaningful way of being Christian and putting Christian faith into practice in the world.
  3. Expand each parishioner’s understanding of the life-giving, redemptive message of Jesus Christ.
  4. Provide opportunities which facilitate participants in growing intellectually, spiritually, and in community with one another with an emphasis on engaging with the world.
  5. Enrich understanding of the Christian faith
  6. Help members to grow in the love of God through programs of learning, spiritual development, and Christian education
  7. Identify and nurture the spiritual gifts of all members, and to help shape and nurture ordained vocation.
  8. Help others strengthen and deepen their relationship with God throughout their lives.
  9. Expand each parishioner’s understanding of the life-giving, redemptive message of Jesus Christ.
  10. Foster spiritual growth and knowledge of the Christian faith
  11. Foster the building of a Christian Community
  12. Foster communities of transformation—places where people come to encounter God and know God more deeply
  13. Build a culture of expectation regarding adult Christian formation
  14. Help the congregation understand adult formation as a life-long learning process

Common ACF Methods/Activities

  1. Retreats – couples, men, women
  2. Bible Studies
  3. Topical Series
  4. Assessment tools - assess the spiritual needs of the parish and plan opportunities for faith development
  5. Sermon discussions
  6. opportunities for reflection, prayer, study, and community
  7. Bible reading experiences
  8. Book clubs
  9. Promotion of RightNow Media videos/series, online sermons, podcasts, etc.
  10. Promotion of attendance in Christian formation opportunities offered in the community

Principles:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Don’t over-program
  3. Do not burn out the leaders.
  4. Coordinate with other groups’ initiatives; don’t conflict or be redundant with other ministries within the church.
  5. Factor in diverse learning styles and interests
  6. Support existing groups; formal and informal
  7. Launch new groups
  8. Provide for onramps and offramps

Are you interested in getting involved? The ACF team will meet approximately once a month. To express interest or ask a question, contact Mike Bartosch.

Resources

Butler-Bass, Diana - Process Not Program: Adult Faith Formation for Vital Congregations; https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/renmod_adultfaith_reader.pdf

https://www.lifelongfaith.com/