Len Hjalmarson thinks he’s got a bead on the #1 issue in making the missional shift: spiritual formation. And, he says, the #1 issue in spiritual formation is this: “Where do you find your identity?”
“Unless our identity is rooted in Christ, we will always be subject to the pressures of the crowd. We will measure success by performance, or by the things we achieve, or the stuff we own. And we will subtly use people to achieve these ends: people become stepping stones or objects on the road to our achievement. When they don’t fit into our plans, we will attack them, abuse them, or push them aside. This isn’t a good way for leaders to live!” —Len Hjalmarson
Len is the co-author of Missional Spirituality, so I’d say he’s established some credibility in talking about spiritual formation. And I agree with him that this issue of identity is vitally important in post-Christendom North America (I have to be inclusive, because Len is Canadian!)I’m reading Brian McLaren’s new book on Christian identity in a pluralistic, multi-faith world. As we seek to be missional in our world today, a key component of it will be how we relate to people of other faiths (and no faith at all).
What do you think about these questions of spiritual formation and identity?