In this version of the Jesse Tree, you'll find that each day's reflection is not just a reiteration of the biblical story. Rather, it is an attempt to use images to explore more deeply the truth of God’s story.
Sam was born and raised in Southern California. At the age of 18, he left home and went to Dordt College in Iowa where he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design in the year of 2000. After he graduated, he served in a church in Northern California for three years working with students in grade 6 through 12. Feeling a call to campus ministry, Sam went back to Iowa, working at Dordt as a part time Resident Director and part time campus pastor. After four enjoyable years, he started his Master’s of Divinity Degree at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. From 2010 – 2015, Sam worked as a Christian Reformed chaplain at UBC – Okanagan, BC. Sam is currently serving part time as a pastor of spiritual formation at Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, CA and part time as a Regional Cataylst with Faith Formation Ministries serving Christian Reformed Churches in California. Sam also loves cycling, drawing, coffee, poetry, and toast.
“Pastor” is a word that I like. I have good associations with it and sometimes it’s helpful to use because it opens the door. But sometimes I have to let it go and find more creative ways to communicate what I do.
As pastor of spiritual formation at my church, I have a lot of faith formation "tools" in my toolbox. Some are very specific. Some are weirdly shaped. Here are 7 of my favorite and most powerful tools.
My church has approximately 40 different denominational backgrounds represented. In such a diverse group, the tendency is to go "wide," stripping worship to singing and a message. But what if we opted to go "deep" instead?
One question I hear from church leaders is: How can we organize our practices, groups, and curriculum for lifelong faith formation? One simple way to organize faith formation is around the liturgical calendar.
Ultimately, Job didn’t need an answer to why his suffering was so great. Rather, he needed to know that God was taking his pain, his protest and his petitions seriously.
In a culture of overstuffed garages and storage units, it’s hard to talk about letting go. It’s hard to talk about dying. It’s difficult to teach subtraction and it’s difficult to learn, but we must.
Simply put: Jesus walked. He never flew in a plane or drove a car. Today we don’t "walk" our discipleship. We view the journey to Jerusalem as a commute. Would slowing our pace deepen relationships? What might we notice?
Just a little correction! Pentecost does not last 50 days... it is one day (the third great feast - along with Christmas and Easter) that kicks off the season called "Ordinary Time" - Sam...posted on: Organizing Your Faith Formation Tools
thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. :)
Thank you for responding to my article and sharing some of your story.
that's true. Thank you!
You're welcome Hans. Thank you for your good words. :)
Thank you Staci - I was honored and blessed by your comment.
Thank you Neil. :)
thanks for the creative example! I love it!
Liturgical season "theme" song! - Smart!posted on: Organizing Your Faith Formation Tools