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Fighting for Your Congregation's Imagination (part 1)

Preaching for spiritual formation means casting a vision for a new way of life.

See theme How did the topic of spiritual formation become important to you?

Skye Jethani: I attended a secular university with a large Christian ministry that was action focused. It was about impact, outreach, and events. As I got into leadership, I had an interesting experience with a guy a couple of years older than me who had been a mentor of mine. I ran into him on campus when I was a junior, and he'd been graduated for a year or two. I had a conversation with him in which he broke down in tears and said his spiritual life had been in absolute ruin since he left college. He said his involvement in our campus group and the events and activities around him were what had buoyed his faith, but the moment he got out of school and didn't have that support structure, he had no deep, internal communion with God or a self-generating faith.

That was a big wake up call for me. I realized I could easily get caught up in believing that all the pizzazz around me constituted my spiritual ...

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

mel dianga

February 26, 2008  2:19am

The article validates what I 'm trying to accomplish in my preaching like transformation of life. I believe this will take place as I allow first myself to experience personal transformation so that I could genuinely preach for life change. A vision for this kind of preaching keeps me enjoy my ministry. .

Daniel DeVilder

November 06, 2007  7:15am

He has crystalized what for me was more of a vague realization that something was wrong with my preaching. I do grasp the power of a sermon that builds a picture of what life would be like "if. . . " rather than getting caught up in detail and how to's. Yet he underscores that that form of preaching (visionary, sparking imagination, motivation) needs to be backed up by venues where people ARE led through the "how to's." I would like more examples of both his imagination building 'ways" in his sermons, and some more concrete examples of how his church supplements the vision with the how to. However, I recall some of the most memorable sermons I heard were these vision type sermons by great homileticians such as JS Stewart. I would like to see some dialogue between proponents of this sort of preaching and the more 'teaching style" of preaching.

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