Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered by James C. Wilhoit

Maybe you think of spiritual formation as something privately undertaken by individuals. James C. Wilhoit promotes the idea that it is the primary responsibility of the church to transform members into Christlikeness. This is not a new idea, but one that has been neglected in recent years. Too often churches have been primarily concerned with their own “success” or survival, and too many Christians approach the congregation as consumers. Formative practices such as Bible memorization and reading; Sunday evening services with a focus on testimonies and mission, Christian summer camps, and pastoral visitation have been dropped and not replaced with any alternatives. The stated purpose of the author is to call congregations to become intentional about spiritual formation and to repent of their failure to prayerfully seek ways to open our lives and our churches to God’s grace and guidance.

Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered: Growing in Christ through Community

The topics covered include:

*Formation through the ordinary events of life

*Imitating Christ



*Responding in love and service

*Relating to others

*Practices that foster formation

There are lots of quotes, a number of appendices at the end, and references to many other books that would be useful for further study.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. Truly spot-on and helpful. It will interest both pastors and lay members who wish to revitalize their lives and their congregations.

The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

For more about spiritual formation see:

Spiritual Formation by Henri Nouwen–Book Review

What is Spiritual Direction?

Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown — Book Review

This entry was posted in Christian books and tagged , by jculler1972. Bookmark the permalink.

About jculler1972

My husband is the retired pastor of St. Paul's Free Lutheran Church in Leitersburg, Maryland. I have two grown daughters, three grandchildren and am retired after a career in Purchasing. I have published articles in The Lutheran Ambassador, Lutheran Witness, and Lutheran Digest. My Bible study on the Book of Acts was published in 2016 by the Women's Missionary Federation of the AFLC(Association of Free Lutheran Churches).

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