Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered

Growing in Christ through Community

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Pub Date 29 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 29 May 2022

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Description

Most books on spiritual formation focus on the individual. But spiritual formation is at the heart of the church's whole purpose for existence. It must be a central task for the church to carry out Christ's mission in the world. This book offers an introduction to spiritual formation set squarely in the local church. The first edition has been well received and widely used as a textbook. The second edition has been updated throughout, incorporates findings from positive psychology, and reflects an Augustinian formation perspective. Foreword by Dallas Willard.

Most books on spiritual formation focus on the individual. But spiritual formation is at the heart of the church's whole purpose for existence. It must be a central task for the church to carry out...


Advance Praise

“As I read through Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered, I found myself smiling. Wilhoit beckons the church to focus its attention on the grace-filled mission of forming disciples or apprentices of Jesus and letting other things flow out of this fundamental orientation. This insight is wise and prudent, and it directly addresses the spiritual consumerism that has infected so many churches. I see Dallas Willard nodding his head in agreement! Wilhoit’s book will profit pastors as they seek to follow Jesus’s great commission and every precious person who longs to be more deeply formed into the image of Jesus.”—Chris Hall, president, Renovaré

“Spiritual formation is the task of the church. Wilhoit clearly explains and develops this foundational principle in this book. The title accurately identifies individualism as the problem with many Western approaches to spiritual formation while also noting that the church community provides a biblical path that better represents authentic spiritual formation. I have used the first edition in different settings, and I’m thrilled for the excellent improvement for this second edition. I will definitely use this excellent book in my teaching ministry and recommend it to others!”—Octavio Esqueda, professor of Christian higher education, Talbot School of Theology

“Christian spiritual formation is often reduced to personal practices and individual faith without an awareness of its communal nature. Wilhoit provides a corrective by developing an ecclesiology that situates spiritual formation in faith communities and the broader social context. As broken people participate in communal practices such as worship, discipleship, and service, by God’s grace they receive forgiveness, healing, and renewal. In a communal view of spiritual formation, Christians are not formed for themselves but for the sake of others, and are to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world. I highly recommend Wilhoit’s thesis of placing the church as the curriculum for spiritual formation because of its transformative power!”—Mark A. Maddix, dean, School of Theology and Christian Ministry, professor of practical theology, Point Loma Nazarene University

“As I read through Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered, I found myself smiling. Wilhoit beckons the church to focus its attention on the grace-filled mission of forming disciples or...


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ISBN 9781540963048
PRICE $26.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

An explication of "Christian Spiritual Formation" (CSF) and what it can do for the church and faith.

The author sets forth the premises of "Christian Spiritual Formation": the importance of receiving, remembering, responding, and relating, and how the practices and disciplines involved in the faith shared collectively can help form and shape Christian faith and witness. Seven practices are discussed which can be fruitful in discipleship.

A bit Reformed at times, but overall a great resource for considering how to cultivate faith and grow disciples. Very highly recommended.

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