Usually I am several months ahead in coming up with potential research paper topics, but for the final two Wesley Seminary praxis courses (Congregational Spiritual Formation and Congregational Relationships) I have not come up with anything solid. This is especially frustrating because spiritual formation is supposed to be one of my strengths. Here are the two ideas I have been tossing around for spiritual formation.
- Since starting seminary, we have been exposed to a variety of small group types, from Sunday school to sermon based small groups. Recently, Lighthouse has begun Growth Groups, putting new small groups on a 12 week cycle to help promote new groups being formed, easy entry and exit for individuals into small groups, the reuse and structure of curriculum, and the engagement of small groups in the community. My question here would be similar to my question from last semester. Is there one small group model that is best for a multi-ethnic multi-generational church, or does our diversity require that we adopt multiple models?
- Every year at the PSWD annual meeting there is a line item in the agenda under “Reports” that says, “Wesleyan Men: No Report Submitted.” The Wesleyan Women always have a robust report, and have recently approved a reorganization as they move into the future. Where are the Wesleyan Men? My guess is that in some districts there is a functioning Wesleyan Men’s organization. I also guess that many of the men who could be potential leaders for Wesleyan Men are on an ordination track, and so are not being trained to work as lay leaders or have their sights set on pastoring a church rather than organizing a men’s ministry. (Here I find it interesting that The Wesleyan Church also ordains women as pastors, and this causes no shortage of leaders for Wesleyan Women. In fact, I would also guess that there are a significant number of Wesleyan Women leaders that are ordained.) It took several years for our local church men’s ministry (LMM) to get the right leaders and activities that our men wanted to be involved with, and we still have room to improve. There are several questions I could research on this topic. Is Wesleyan Men necessary for male spiritual formation? How do we properly staff and utilize Wesleyan Men for spiritual formation? Does male dominated church leadership cripple men’s spiritual formation among laity?
©2011 Paul Tillman