Formed by Our Practices

At the Bishop’s Retreat this week, Tex Sample talked about how we are formed by our practices (see other learnings here). Because of that, we need to choose good practices.

I think this is one reason why habits, disciplines, systems and routines are important to me. It’s not just about finding an easier, faster way to do stuff, it’s that the things I do literally shape/form me, so I want to use the best practices I can.

This also makes me think about the Five Practices journey we’re beginning at Centre Grove (see the “getting started” post here), based on Bishop Schnase’s book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. This discussion will focus on our practices as a community, with a heart for developing practices that will honor God and bear fruit for God’s kingdom. The practices we do consistently, will shape us and our ministry in the world.

I think this could also be one reason why John Wesley was so big on practicing the “means of grace” (i.e., the sacraments and spiritual disciplines). He knew that we are formed by our practices. And what better way to be formed than by those practices through which God chooses to work in our lives.

Wesley also highlighted the importance of “works of piety” (spiritual disciplines) and “works of mercy” (acts of ministry and service) knowing that we need to be formed by both kinds of practices.

I blogged recently along these lines (before I was reminded of Tex’s language of being formed by our practices). See What Stirs Your Passion? for some of the practices that have tended to form me (as well as stirring my passion).

What practices have formed (and/or, are forming) you? What changes (old practices to get rid of or new practices to begin) do you need to make?

One thought on “Formed by Our Practices

  1. The practice of daily spending time reading the Bible (I have used a publication by Scripture Union Press for over 15 years) and prayer have been critical to my growth as a Christian. However, I find that I have to continually evaltuate how I am doing with these 2 disciplines because it is so easy to start “going through the motions” and fail to connect with God.
    Also praying with another person once a week really helps me to grow in my prayer life. I find it easier to be fervent in prayer during such meetings.
    As far as new practices to begin I have to be more intentional about being silent before the Lord and waiting upon Him; also would like to schedule periodic days apart with the Lord.

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