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A Spiritual Formation Workbook - Revised edition: Small Group Resources for Nurturing Christian Growth Paperback – November 6, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In such small, intimate groups, people are finding themselves, finding each other, and finding God."-- George H. Gallup, Jr.

From the Back Cover

"In such small, intimate groups, people are finding themselves, finding each other, and finding God."--George H. Gallup, Jr.

This beginning workbook for Spiritual Formation Groups features guidelines for starting up, study plans for the first eight sessions, and a questionnaire that helps map the way ahead.

Based upon five major dimensions of the spiritual life found in the life of Christ and Christian traditions: The Contemplative Tradition; The Holiness Tradition; The Charismatic Tradition; The Social Justice Tradition; and The Evangelical Tradition, this workbook program provides all the necessary ingredients to start and keep running a Spiritual Formation Group.

Christian in stance and ecumenical in breadth, RENOVAR (from the Latin, meaning "to renew") is an infrachurch movement committed to the renewal of the church. Founded by best-selling spiritual writer Richard J. Foster, RENOVAR provides individual churches with a balanced, practical, effective small-group strategy for spiritual growth. The aim of the program is to give depth to the human desire for God. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Revised ed. edition (November 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062516264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062516268
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Bryan Smith (M.Div., Yale University Divinity School, D.Min., Fuller Seminary) is a theology professor at Friends University in Wichita, KS and a writer and speaker in the area of Christian spiritual formation. He also serves as the director of the Christian Spiritual Formation Institute at Friends University.

A founding member of Richard J. Foster's spiritual renewal ministry, Renovaré Smith is an ordained United Methodist Church minister and has served in various capacities in local churches. Smith is also the author of A Spiritual Formation Workbook, Devotional Classics (with Richard Foster), Embracing the Love of God, Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven and Room of Marvels.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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YOU FOUND IT! I don't know of a better small group resource. I've been through this workbook several different times with several different groups, everything from teens to pastors. I've always been pleased.
Two aspects of this study sticks out to me.
First, the wealth of companion material from Renovare. You will not run out of ways to challenge the members of your small group.
Second, the respect that is shown for believers in different Christian traditions. Renovare is distinctly and unashamedly Christian. It is not popular philosophy dressed up in Christian language. Yet, this book, as with other Renovare resources, value the distinctives that make up the different major themes in Christian thought. This could cause discomfort for those who are locked into a very narrow version of the faith.
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This book will help you discover where you need more balance in your Christian walk. As you learn to practice the 6 different traditions; social, contemplative, holiness, charismatic, evangelical, and incarnational, your walk with the Lord will become more balanced. This has been a life-changing study for me!
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I have been utilizing this book in my own spiritual journey for the last 4 years. The growth and depth of relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ is amazing and truly transforming.

I am the director of a leadership development program for my denomination. We are now utilizing this book as a part of our training with wonderful results. The students have all commented on the deepening of their relationships with each other and most especially a new understanding and deepening of their relationship with Christ. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is serious about becoming a devoted disciple of Christ.
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Format: Paperback
What separates this small group guide from others is that it provides a framework for all future groups that actually contains concrete paths to real character transformation. That framework has some key components: (1) An emphasis on trying spiritual exercises in your everyday life, with plenty of ideas for exercises provided; (2) An emphasis on growing toward a balanced spiritual life, centered around 6 areas of spirituality: personal prayer, holiness, interaction with the Holy Spirit, compassion for others, gospel knowledge/sharing, and interweaving the sacred into the secular life; (3) Seeking spiritual growth in partnership with other believers who will encourage and listen to one another; (4) A non-judgmental, non-legalistic attitude.

The content of the studies is solid, based on the life of Jesus as He modeled for us the 6 areas of spiritual life. There are also well-thought out discussion questions that allow for deep reflection. There is virtually no prep time because each session is read through and discussed together.

I am currently going through this study for the second time with a larger group (15-25), and it works well even in the larger context, especially when we break up into smaller groups for some segments. I have heard from several people how great this study is. I believe that if churches used a framework like this one for their small groups, the Church of Jesus Christ would see an astonishing amount of fruit that would surprise the world.
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Very good workbook- especially if you are leading a group and do not know what to prepare. However, if you want some leway to teach using your own style, the workbook doesn't leave you much room. It's a very stick-by-the-rules type of book. Very insightful and perfect for a small group setting, though.
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The practical exercises in the Christian traditions are useful, and cause growth. (Romans 12:2) This book is useful for any spiritual formation group and increases awareness of need to grow in Discipleship. Have used exercises in my Walk to Emmaus(spiritual formation/accountability) reunion group--leads to Christian action.
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This is a very good book for starting a Bible study that is labor intensive versus study intensive. I do recommended this for all people to lead after they have to a personal study with Celebration of Discipline materials. To my knowledge, this version is out of print because it has been revised and replaces by ISBN 0062516264. This new book includes the sixth tradition of incarnationalism. Also recommended.
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I've worked as a small group minister for years now, and I feel that this workbook is excellent for starting a group of established Christians. Each discussion is clearly mapped out with leader's instructions in the margins. Through the course six different aspects or facets of Jesus are presented, and almost no one is intimately familiar with all six, so it stands to minister to long time church goers. But the new Christian will be strengthened too.

Other Christian authors are writing about Jesus as presented by various denominations (like Brian McLaren and Philip Yancey)but this little book is very easy to use for generating discussions.

What I found most important is that each section ends with several exercises or disciplines to practice in the time between sessions. Group members will surely experience spiritual growth if they practice the disciplines.

Lastly, it ends with an invitation to continue on as a group, using what has been learned through the study as a format for continued group life.
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