Friday, August 20, 2010
And finally, we need the right tools to measure spiritual formation. There are some good tools available like Randy Frazee's Christian Life Profile and Monvee.com, which John Ortberg likes.I think the idea of a "tool" to measure spiritual formation is somehow just wrong - any tool will tend towards mass production, and one of the big points of spiritual formation is that it is highly individualistic.
I think the biggest problem facing real spiritual formation in the church is that it is an apprenticeship program and we want to run churches like a diploma factory.
What Willard does get right it this:
The church will start to change when the leadership changes. A pastor with a vital spiritual life will will apprentice someone in the church, and so on, and so on, and so on.
What can pastors do to change this dynamic?
Change their definition of success. They need to have a vision of success rooted in spiritual terms, determined by the vitality of a pastor's own spiritual life and his capacity to pass that on to others.
If I were setting out to truly change the church in this fashion, I would do it one person at a time. - forget "tools."
Name a profession, and you will find that education does not equal professionalism - that can only be gained with time and experience. Pros know pros - and pros know when rookies become pros. It is not measured, it just is.
I have taken up woodworking as a weekend distraction. I recently made an arts&crafts end table for a couple as a wedding gift. They profess to love it. I have pointed out to them every rookie mistake I made on it. Until I pointed it out, they had not seen it. My response was "a real woodworker will see this thing coming a mile away."
That's what being a Christian is like.