At the intersection of mission and spiritual formation in the letters of Paul.


Talbot School of Theology

Publication Date

Spring 2013


Let me set up this study with two real-life scenarios: Scenario #1: I am sitting with a group of church planters in the Middle East discussing church planting strategy. We have talked for at least three hours about how to communicate the gospel in this difficult area of the world. But something is not sitting quite right with me. So I interject: “But what about the power of the Holy Spirit and a life of holiness and prayer for reaching this land?” The response? “Oh, of course . . . we all assume that.” Assume? Is prayer, growth in holiness, and the empowering of the Spirit simply an assumption in the mission God has given us? What is the role of spiritual formation for mission? Scenario #2: I am sitting with two delightful but distraught Christian college women. These young women have recently been appointed as cocoordinators of the overseas mission chapels on our campus. They have sought me out to help them know how to respond to a campus leader who has challenged them to justify the very existence of mission chapels. Apparently, these young women are being asked to validate whether such chapels play any role in the spiritual formation of our students. They come to me because they are bewildered at how someone could even pose such a challenge. There are other important issues surrounding this apparent confrontation,2 but I want to focus on only one of them. What function does mission play in the spiritual formation of God’s people?


Missions; Spiritual formation;

Publication Title

Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care





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