What It Is. What It Isn’t. And What It’s Really About.
by AJ Hofstetter
Perhaps you’ve seen an email come through that introduced Mr. Brent Fisher’s role at our school, as our director of Spiritual Formation. Perhaps you’ve seen some of what he’s done or heard from your students about their interactions with him and his teaching. But the question often comes up: What is spiritual formation? After all, terms like this can often be open to interpretation. One person’s definition can seem diametrically opposed to another’s.
So often, spirituality is reduced to a system of rules and restrictions. It becomes a rather expansive system of tactics for behaving ourselves. We judge others — and ourselves — by standards that don’t fit into the narrative of Scripture or into the person, work and words of Christ Himself. It’s manmade and unsatisfying.
But what if it’s more? And what if we have the chance to walk our students to the doorway of something bigger?
From our perspective at Liberty, and as you’ll discover the more you interact with Mr. Fischer and his leadership here, spiritual formation isn’t as heady as it sounds. It’s simply an introduction to a God many have never met: One who’s much bigger, much more beautiful, and much more deserving of our loyalty, passion, and undying affection than we often give Him credit for. It’s an introduction to a God who is infinitely patient with us and in a relentless pursuit of our hearts. In so many spaces, Bible becomes a class and theology a feather in the caps of academics. But when it finally becomes about experiencing a living, loving, Word-become-flesh God, we discover an ability to live — maybe for the first time — in communion with Him. True, intimate, soul-saturating communion. We find our purpose, our rest, and our joy simply in experiencing His presence.
To unpack what’s really happening for these students through the spiritual formation process at Liberty Classical — and to really help you understand the program from start to finish — would be quite an undertaking. There are hundreds upon hundreds of pages of writings, programming, concepts, guided Scripture readings, thoughts, prayers, and reflections. There are systems in place to help our students discover who God is and who they are because of Him. It’s a lot longer than you’re probably willing to read in one sitting. From understanding who God is to learning how to talk to Him, breathe Him in, and truly enjoy Him, Mr. Fischer through the spiritual formation component of a Liberty Classical education is trying to introduce our students — and all of us — to a God who loves, who forgives, who leads, who teaches, and who laughs.
For All of Us
When it comes to following Christ, and when it comes to how we model following Christ to our students, it’s worth asking the question: What are we leaving on the table? What are we settling for; assuming that depth and purpose and experiences with the living God aren’t for us?
As Mr. Fisher walks with our kids through their faith and helps them experience something deeper, let’s join with him, and with them. Let’s be properly introduced to the God of the Bible and let spiritual formation transform us into something we didn’t know was possible.