Thursday, April 22, 2010

Six myths or false models of spiritual formation 4/6

"There is the very real problem that cracks are papered over by the latest top ten worship songs while hyped induced resolutions are not sturdy enough to be sustained in the long term. "

"I'm looking forward to some real worship..." is an interesting but common expression that I hear from time to time. It is usually within the context of unfulfilled expectations of what worship should be within college, usually stoked by, ironically a self interested approach to worship. It comes usually twinned with "I thought I would feel closer to God here..." I wonder how much this may have to do with a Spiritual Formation whose foundation is mere feeling.

The mountain top experience that is sought in spiritual formation through what Wilhoit calls the Conference Model hides what he sees as two potential problems. There is the very real problem that cracks are papered over by the latest top ten worship songs while hyped induced resolutions are not sturdy enough to be sustained in the long term. Wilhoit points out that while useful the conference should not be seen as indispensable spiritual filling stations. The conference model of spiritual formation exists as a false model if it seen as a 'primary source of nurture and guidance on the journey'.

While highly attractive, the conference model rarely helps engagement with where there is shift from a consumer mindset in worship to an understanding of worship as giving away of preference.

Wilhoit, J.C (2008:51ff) Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered. Baker

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