By Will Truesdell and Marc Papai

Spiritual Formation and Mission

This workshop seeks to cover the following topics:

  • Mission without effective spiritual formation practices/experiences/relationships is prone to focus on accomplishments and drivenness, and loses the center in Jesus.  The egocentric self becomes the focus of action.
  • Spiritual Formation that lacks mission is prone to focus on an internalized spiritual world at the expense of the needs and call of Jesus to the world.  The egocentric self becomes the focus of spirituality.
  • If one is emphasized to the exclusion of the other, you get neither.  There is no real spiritual formation without mission, nor vice versa.  Mission forces us to consider our formation and relationship with Jesus.  Formation forces us to love more deeply and live a life of obedience. 
  • A key question:  How are these pursued simultaneously, rather than compartmentalized?
  • What is formation, really, and what is mission? 
  • We cannot cover all of this in a short session, but hopefully this session will help this key conversation to get started and worked on in your own context. 

With regards to Spiritual Formation and Mission, InterVarsity staff members most often face the following issues:

  • Drive and work that is focused more on success and progress than on a love for Jesus and others.  It is easy to have our mission eclipse the one who called us into it. 
  • The result of losing this focus can be burn-out (where we run out of our own resources) and, ironically, sloth (where we protect our resources from burn-out).
  • Pace of life and schedule.  How do we order our ministry lives so that these two are in alignment?  We often can over-schedule, with no room for reflection, prayer, development, and time to be with Jesus and hear his direction.  Or we can under-schedule, where we lack clear direction or empowerment to move forward with clarity and purpose. 
  • How do we lead others (student teams, staff teams) with these in parallel, so they also can grow with a healthy ministry life? 
  • Identity that is focused on ministry.  When we succeed we are supported in this and feel like we are doing well. But when things don’t go well, we can crash. 

We want this training to accomplish   the following:

  • Give models of leadership with these in balance - leading teams, events, etc.
  • A working theology of missional spirituality
  • A focused practical way to engage this for staff.

Documents related to this workshop include those listed below. We encourage you to read the Six Hour Workshop first as it gives the overview of the training day and the place where all the other documents fit.

Spiritual Formation and Mission Six Hour Workshop

Elizabeth and Mary-Luke 1.pdf

NSO Case Study.pdf

Two Hour Spiritual Formation and Mission.pdf

Core Spiritual Disciplines for Healthy Ministry.pdf