What led us to buy into the myth that most formation happens early? Who sold us the story that formation isn’t life-long? And how would our ministries and our energies be redirected if we really adopted the life-long viewpoint?
I've been a CRC Pastor for forty years, serving congregations in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan.
I've always carried a passionate concern for the faith development of all ages in the congregation. Since 2002 I've been on the staff of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and also Adjunct Professor of Worship at Calvin Theological Seminary.
Currently I'm serving a five-year assignment on the Faith Formation Committee of the CRC. In our work we began with the initial concern over children at the Lord's Supper, and quickly found our work and concerns broadening into all areas of faith formation - from baptism, remembering our baptism, instruction, professions of faith, etc.
As the father of three sons and ten grandchildren, faith formation matters take on a deeply personal nature. I've been privileged to have a front row seat to observe it and participate in it, not only for my own family, but also for those in my congregations.
I’m convinced that churches which practice infant baptism have a problem. And it’s not a problem they are usually aware of.
What do you see parents doing that captured teaching moments for children’s faith? Do you have stories that would benefit others?
The depth and stability of (faith) formation are directly tied to the depth and stability of the social and cultural environment in which it takes place. How much depth and stability are we providing there?
I’m interested in hearing how this strikes you. How will it help you in ministry in your congregation? What concerns do you have?
Hi Al: Thanks for this post and helping us to think about the order of worship. I demur a bit however at some of your thinking and I’m uncomfortable with your statement that “…what binds the...posted on: Order of Worship: How was It Created?
A healthily challenging question, Nick! I'm glad to let it kick around in my brain for awhile and I hope that my other committee members will do the same.
Personally, I'm not sure that "...posted on: Is "Faith Formation" a Good Phrase/Category?
Thanks, David. I like the "remembering that" terminology. And I'm also pretty comfortable with "Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows" from SNC 240, although that treats only the "vow" part of it as...posted on: Our Problem With Infant Baptism
I think Neil makes a very significant point when he suggests that a pastor's personal contact with siblings or other children is key to making a baptism memorable. Let me expand on it....
...posted on: Baptisms and Faith Formation