Why the spiritual disciplines?

Pastor Richard Hovey

“I don’t do these things (spiritual disciplines) because I want God to love me and bless me, nor to avoid punishment or impress people with my piety. I do all of this to keep the fire burning. I do them because I am spiritually weak. I cannot maintain an effective and joyful Christian life without these activities.

When I neglect these things, my soul atrophies. I simply know of no other way to be an apprentice of Jesus.” (James Bryan Smith)

Defining Spiritual Formation/Spirituality

Spiritual formation is : “our continuing response to the reality of God’s grace shaping us into the likeness of Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the community of faith, for the sake of the world.”

(Jeffrey Greenman)

“Christian spiritual formation is the process in which believers cooperate with God and one another so that their souls are nourished and their characters are transformed into Christlikeness.”

(Richella Parham)

“Spirituality is about a communal search for the face of God."

(Ronald Rolheiser)

Spirituality is what a person “does with what they believe. It is not just about ideas, although the basic ideas of the Christian faith are important to Christian spirituality. . . . It is about the full apprehension of the reality of God.”

(Alister McGrath)


Recommended Books

  • Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World by Kyle David Bennett (2017)

  • Spirituality Old & New: Recovering Authentic Spiritual Life by Donald Bloesch (2007)

  • Conformed to His Image: Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation by Kenneth Boa (2001).

  • Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Calhoun (2005).

  • Authentic Spirituality: Moving Beyond Mere Religion by Barry Callen (2001).

  • The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey From Frustration To Joy With The Spiritual Disciplines by Nathan Foster (2014)

  • Celebration of Discipline: The Path of Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster (1978).

  • The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg (2002).

  • Dictionary of Christian Spirituality by Glen Scorgie, ed. (2011).

  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney ( 2014).

  • Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard

Spiritual Formation as a Natural Part of Salvation by Dallas Willard