Article | Spiritual Formation Agenda by Richard Foster

Foster, Richard J. “Spiritual formation agenda: Richard Foster shares his three priorities for the next 30 years.” Christianity Today 53, no. 1 (January 1, 2009): 28-33. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed March 20, 2014)

A member of the Research team asked me to read this article. We are five years into it, now, but I think Foster has named some important things.

spiritual formation agendaFoster takes the traditional inside-out approach. Spiritual formation begins with the transformation of the Heart. Then it transforms the spiritual community–the Church. Then it overflows to a compassionate partnership with the world.

I especially liked his three points regarding the fellowship in the church:

  1. We have in our churches a “hurry sickness.”  (getting truer every year)
  2. We now have a Christian entertainment industry that is masquerading as worship.
  3. We are dealing with an overall consumer mentality that simply dominates the American religious scene.

What do we do? He says:

  1. Experience deeply the fellowship gathering power of spiritual formation.
  2. Let us do all we can to develop the ecclesiola in ecclesia–“the little church within the church.” No splitting off! Stay within the church!!

Read my annotated copy of the article