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Week 1

Find Your Starting Point

  • In order for growth to happen, it is very important to identify where we are currently. The goal of this week is to find out where we are starting these 6 weeks of FORMED. We want to reflect on our own hearts as we listen for what God might be telling us. We want to identify what He is already doing in our lives, and ways He is calling us to grow. This will be immensely helpful as we begin this 6 week pursuit of Christ.

  • Formational Practice: Journaling

  • Our formational practice for this week will be journaling because it can be incredibly helpful and insightful to reflect and write down our thoughts on paper. Here are a couple quotes about journaling from Richard Peace who wrote "Spiritual Journaling."

  • "Journaling helps us pay attention to God. It is a way of hearing and responding to God. Journaling helps us understand our unfolding story. Knowing our story helps us to see what God has been doing in the past, is doing now, and is calling us to do in the future."

  • "Journaling...focuses mind and heart on the issues of growth with the aim of discerning what God is doing in one's life. By using a journal, we come in touch with our cutting edges of growth, those areas where questions exist or where there is need or longing. These are the areas in which the Holy Spirit often seems most active."

  • I want to encourage everyone to journal at least 3-4 times this week. Journal every day if you can. And I want to encourage you to keep journaling even after this week is over and we move on to a new formational practice. The practice of journaling gets easier and the benefits are more experienced the more you do it. So, the more time you are able to spend journaling this week, and the following weeks, the better.

  • Journal about where your heart is, where your faith is, and how you feel spiritually. Ask the Lord to show you where you are starting these 6 weeks of spiritual formation, where He wants to you grow/go, and even a plan for how He wants to get you there.

  • Questions to consider while you journal:

  • What makes it hard for you to feel close to God right now?

  • Where have you been finding yourself getting stuck or frustrated lately?

  • When have you felt connected to God recently? How did that come about?

  • What do you long for in your relationship with God? How might He want to take you there?

  • Where have you felt delight, rest, joy, enthusiasm lately?

  • Where have you recognized beauty, truth, and goodness lately?

  • Who can go with you on this 6 week journey of spiritual formation?

  • Other formational practice ideas:

  • *The additional formational practice ideas included each week are best done in addition to the main formational practice, not in lieu of it*

  • Notice what drains your energy and is discouraging and disheartening. Keep a list. Take these lists to God in prayer and talk with Him about Him. Ask Him what He thinks about them.

  • Paint or draw a picture that shows where you're at right now in your life. It can just be colors, or it can be a representational drawing. Imagination can sometimes help us better understand what is going on under the various layers of our lives.

  • Communal practice ideas:

  • *We will sometimes share other ideas about how we can engage the theme and formational practice for the week with others. But you are all encouraged to add ideas in slack or organize groups to do things together!*

  • Do you have any thoughts or ideas about formational practices to do with others? Share in slack!

  • Gospel Community ideas:

  • *We want everyone to engage FORMED with others, not alone. An easy way to do this is to intentionally engage it with your GC. Every GC is encouraged to do FORMED together.*

  • Discuss in your GC how journaling is going and what you feel God is telling you.

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