Things to Hate About Spiritual Formation

John Ortberg is the Senior Pastor of the 4,000 member Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and the author of multiple books on spiritual formation.  Recently in a Leadership Journal article, he revealed 7 things he hates about spiritual formation.  His list includes: I hate how spiritual formation gets positioned as an optional pursuit for a small special interest group within the church, and I hate it when we forget that the goal is producing truly good people, not becoming experts at Read More …

Effective Worship Services?

John Ortberg is the Senior Pastor of the 4,000 member Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and the author of multiple books on spiritual formation.  In the Spring 2011 edition of Leadership Journal, he wrote an article entitled "What Does God Think of Entertainment," in which he set forth his view on what a successful worship service looks like: The primary criteria for the effectiveness of a church service is not "holding people's attention."  It's not compliments after the service or growth Read More …

Should Clergy-Scholars Lead the Church?

Donald Miller is the author of several books including A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing my Life (2009) and Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (2003).  To connect with him,  read his blog, like him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter. Earlier this month he posted, "Should the Church be Led by Teachers and Scholars?"  In the article he questions the centuries old norm of the church being led by clergy scholars who possess academic Read More …

Review of The Truth Shall Make You Odd

Frank G. Honeycutt.  The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations.  Brazos Press, 2011.  ISBN: 9781587432637. Meet the Author Frank G. Honeycutt is an ordained Lutheran (ELCA) pastor with twenty-five years of parish ministry experience who currently serves as Senior Pastor of the nearly 900 member Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina.  He is the author of six books including Marry a Pregnant Virgin: Unusual Bible Stories for New and Read More …

Review of The Good and Beautiful God

James Bryan Smith.  The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows.  InterVarsity Press, 2009.  ISBN: 9780830835317. Meet the Author James Bryan Smith is an ordained United Methodist minister who specializes in spiritual formation.  He has been associated with Friends University for over twenty years and currently serves as the Director of the  APRENTIS Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation and as Assistant Professor of Religion.  Smith is a founding member of Read More …

Rethinking Spiritual Formation

Ben Witherington is the Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Considered by many to be a leading New Testament scholar, Witherington has written over thirty books and six commentaries.  For more information, view his faculty profile page or read his blog. Recently he listed his concerns with contemporary views of spiritual formation: Monastic models of piety frankly don't work Read More …