However, according to Eugene Peterson, "Somewhere along the way, most of us pick up bad habits of extracting from the Bible what we pretentiously call 'spiritual principles' or 'moral guidelines' or 'theological truths,' and then corseting ourselves in them in order to force a godly shape on our lives" so we can live "Christianly." Missional means to participate in God's mission as he and we work out his will in the world. Spirituality means to live in and by the Holy Spirit. To be genuinely spiritual is not institutional. We are spiritual to the extent that the Spirit's presence permeates our lives and our churches in ways that can only be explained as his work. So, the goal of Christian spirituality is to be enlivened by God's Spirit.
A missional spirituality is a spirituality that forms and feeds mission. Spiritual disciplines will form us, and doing the Father's work in community will feed us. We need disciplines of both abstinence and engagement, and we need the shared practices of communal life.
—Roger Helland and Leonard Hjalmarson. This article is excerpted from Missional Spirituality; used with permission of InterVarsity Press.
For more on missional living, read our digital magazine, The Meaning of Missional.
- How do you see spiritual formation? Are you being transformed for the sake of transformation or for something else?
- How do you speak about spiritual formation with your group members? Does it reflect an understanding of missional spirituality?
- If missional spirituality is fundamental to discipleship, how can you help your group members gain a clear understanding of transformation and its purpose?