Wu, Hubert Poon-Tak. “Spiritual Formation Shaped by the Potter's Hands: Exploring the Impact of Spiritual Friendships in Small Groups Using Lectio Divina.” D. Min., Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2018.
Christ followers seek to become more like Jesus. A major goal of the Church is to aid in the process of spiritual growth. In this research portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation as the process of being shaped and reworked, both as an individual and in community, in the Potter’s hands. In other words, we will examine how in companionship with one another in the church we make ourselves available to the Triune God so that we might be shaped into an image more reflective of Jesus Christ. The purpose of this research is to answer the question: How does spiritual companionship contribute to the spiritual development of one another? Special attention was given to how spiritual companionship can be deepened in small groups for spiritual growth. The author scrutinized the question through three separate but related projects. First, in the author’s spiritual autobiography, the author’s personal experience of being shaped and reworked in the Potter’s hands is considered. Within this narration, consideration of the presence of essential facets of spiritual formation—God’s Word, Spirit, and People—is to be noted. To become a change agent for others, these three essentials are applied, just as a potter applies pressure to shape a vessel for its intended purpose. Second is a model for spiritual formation through small groups, outlining the theology, goals, and means of spiritual formation. In particular, the author considers the relationship between small group activities and the three essential resources of spiritual formation, as well as the impact of intimate relationships within a community setting. The author also provides an introduction to the spiritual discipline of Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading, considering its efficacy in terms of personal, interpersonal, and spiritual growth. The final section consists of a research project, facilitated by a small group at the author’s church, focused on spiritual companionship. This serves as a practical demonstration of the ideas presented in the preceding model. This study’s phenomenological research approach allows for a more personal understanding the model, as revelations of the participating members are included, allowing the reader to understand the quality of spiritual growth resulting from this method of small group study for spiritual growth. The findings suggest first that individuals’ practice of particular spiritual disciplines successfully cultivate a deeper relationship with, and experience of, God and his work in their lives. In sharing with one another in a small group setting, these life stories serve to deepen spiritual companionship between group members and, in turn, encourage mutual edification towards Christ’s likeness. Furthermore, this research provides a comprehensive explanation of various elements of the spiritual formation process, including theology, goals, and means of formation.
Thesis (D. Min.)—Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2018
Table of Contents
Introduction – Changed to be a Change Agent: A Spiritual Autobiography –A Ministry Model of Spiritual Formation Through Small Groups for Stouffville Grace Baptist Church – A Storied Way of Lectio Divinia to build Deeper Spiritual Companionship in Small Groups at Stouffville Grace Baptist Church – Conclusion
Tyndale University College & Seminary
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