DEVOTION in Christian Formation

19/09/11 12:29 PM

DEVOTION in Christian Formation and Discipleship


“After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. Go on your way” (Luke 10:1-3)

I believe that ministry is a partnered endeavor. We do not walk this journey of discipleship alone. Jesus walks with us, and we walk with each other.

When I was in Seminary I had a formative and transforming experience that taught me the importance of a partnered relationship in the journey of Christian formation and discipleship. I had an devotional partner, Kevin Watson, with whom I shared a journey in covenant discipleship. Kevin and I formed a covenant to hold one another accountable in our walk of discipleship. We began by simply covenanting to wake up each morning at 6am, droopy eyes and all, and spend one hour together in prayer and the reading of scripture. We each had felt a need to find individual devotion time of reading the scriptures that was separate from the times we had to read the Bible for class. By ourselves, we were weak and undisciplined. Together, we became stronger and disciplined. You have to appreciate how difficult this was for me at first. I am not a morning person. In college and seminary, I intentionally chose afternoon and evening classes so that I would not have to wake up in the morning for a 9am class. But, Kevin and I made the covenant and, for three years, I would wake up every morning at 6am to join Kevin for morning devotions. This became one of the most formative and transforming experiences I have ever had in my life.

We have said that a definition of Christian Formation and Discipleship in our Wesleyan and Methodist tradition is as follows: “Christian disciples are formed by shaping their lives according to the General Rule of Discipleship: ‘To witness to Jesus Christ in the world, and to follow his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship and devotion, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.’” This month I invite you to think about your own personal journey of devotion to God.

How are you doing with your personal devotional time? What practices do you engage in to nurture your soul and spirit daily? What means of grace do you employ to draw you closer each day to the God who created you for a purpose? If the journey is difficult by yourself, try inviting someone else to partner with you in covenant discipleship; join or form a small group for devotions in your home, your neighborhood, in the church. I believe that discipleship is a partnered endeavor. We do not have to walk this journey alone.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Shandi

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