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The Blind Spot of the Spiritual Formation Movement

Listening to a sermon is a spiritual discipline that needs to be learned.

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The lost discipline of listening

Eight years ago I bought a Toyota Camry that has served me well in my daily commute to work. But I have discovered one downside: after several close calls, I've learned when changing lanes that I can check all my mirrors carefully and still miss a car that's right beside me. My car has a large blind spot.

I have had a similar experience with a movement I much appreciate: the spiritual formation movement. Books on spiritual formation speak my language. I'm a pastor who wants to see people grow into strong disciples of Jesus Christ. Disciplines of any sort appeal to me—spiritual disciplines in particular. That's why as much as I respect those who have written on spiritual formation, I was surprised to find that they have a large blind spot: their view of preaching.

Read books on spiritual formation and you will be hard pressed to find anyone who lists listening to the preaching of God's Word as a first-order spiritual discipline. Granted, the writers typically ...

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