Posts with the category “build-faith”

Insights from Always On
by Jim LaDoux on January 15th, 2024
By Jim LaDoux Chapter 1: Interested Conversation●  Focus: Interested conversation: Interested in what God is up to in this new medialandscape and interested in reasons why new media has the possibilities andbrokenness.●  New media holds great possibility for living into the kingdom of God.●  If you want to be attentive to what is impacting people’s lives, critical and theologicalreflection on new...  Read More
Practicing Lectio Divina
by Jim LaDoux on January 15th, 2024
By Jim LaDoux “Lectio,” it is often called, is an ancient practice of reading the Bible and praying. It is a practice that assumes God’s Holy Spirit inspires the Scriptures and that the Holy Spirit also desires to speak to us today through the Scriptures. It is a practice that can be used by anyone and can take 10 minutes or 2 hours as you walk through four steps designed to draw you closer to God...  Read More
Creating a culture of calling
by Jim LaDoux on December 26th, 2023
By Dr. Nancy GoingDirector of Research & Resource DevelopmentIn 2017, Vibrant Faith began working with 24 churches from seven different denominations to help them embed and explore the theological idea of CALLING in their church life and congregational culture. This work was funded through a grant by the Lilly Endowment, and we were privileged to be one of 13 Innovation Hubs whose mission was to e...  Read More
Interview families about faith
by Jim LaDoux on December 6th, 2023
By Jim LaDoux Interviewing families about their background, family and faith traditions and hopes for their children provides faith formation leaders with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the life and faith journeys of the families they serve. It gives church leaders a venue for sharing their philosophy on lifelong faith, what it means to be the church, and how households can live their ...  Read More
Listening to spiritual stories
by Jim LaDoux on October 29th, 2023
By Jim LaDoux Ask people in your congregation about when they have felt most spiritually alive. Write down some notes you can share with your team.Here is a possible introduction to your conversation:“I am interested in learning more about how people experience God in their everyday lives. So I’m asking some people in our congregation a few questions about their spiritual lives. Thanks for being w...  Read More
20 mealtime prayers
by Jim LaDoux on October 17th, 2023
Here's a list of 20 common mealtime prayers that families can use at the dinner table:1 - "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen."2 - "Thank you, God, for this food and for the hands that prepared it. Amen."3 - "Lord, make us truly grateful for this food, bless those who are hungry, and help us to be a blessing to others...  Read More
Examen daily prayer practice
by Jim LaDoux on July 28th, 2023
A great way to pray is to look for God's presence in your life. More than 400 years ago, St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged prayer-filled mindfulness by proposing what has been called the Daily Examen. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God's presence and to discern his direction for us. Consider using this prayer practice at the end of a meal, at ...  Read More
How has God SHAPED you?
by Jim LaDoux on June 6th, 2022
Surface to Soul is about helping people go deeper. Grow deeper faith. Build deeper relationships. Engage in more meaningful conversations. Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of one one another and how one is using their gifts and living out of their callings. Use the questions below to learn about new members and guests, members of your leadership team or small group, as well as your fri...  Read More
Faith-filled parenting
by Jim LaDoux on April 23rd, 2022
Most Christian parents have a strong desire to raise their children who will live and love like Jesus.  As a parent of two college-age boys, my desire is for them to find ways to experience God in daily life and to embrace their callings as they help fulfill God's dreams for the world.  I believe that faith is formed, through the power of the Holy Spirit, through personal, trusted relationships.  ...  Read More
Almost Christian
by Jim LaDoux on April 22nd, 2022
Kenda Creasy Dean, a professor at Princeton’s theological seminary, published a book called Almost Christian: What the Faith of our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church that explores the emerging ramifications of the lack of passion and faith in God in previous generations. This book is based on the National Study of Youth and Religion by Christian Smith and Melinda Denton that gave this new r...  Read More
Indicators of spiritual maturity
by Jim LaDoux on February 23rd, 2022
These foundational characteristics are drawn from research of faith maturing in young people and from the wisdom of the Christian leaders engaged in faith formation with children and adolescents. They are developmentally- appropriate, realistic expectations for faith maturing in the first two decades of life. They provide the beginnings of lifelong process of growth in Christian faith and disciple...  Read More
A blueprint for forming faith
by Jim LaDoux on February 4th, 2022
Before a home is built, an architect is needed to create blueprints that the construction workers will use to make people's dreams a reality. Blueprints provide the structure and details that move the building process forward and ensure that the end result honors the home buyers' original intentions.  As you consider consider creating a vision and plan for lifelong faith, decide what type of "blue...  Read More
Create daily Sabbath moments
by Jim LaDoux on January 26th, 2022
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 ESVThe Sabbath moments of the soul are those brief glimpses we all have of unexpected wonder, unlooked for surprise, being ambushed by beauty.Look for joy, pay attention to what’s going on, hold life carefully as the precious gift it is, notice when God is nudging you awake to blessing. Sabbath provides us w...  Read More
4 questions to ask faith mentors
by Jim LaDoux on January 14th, 2022
Most church leaders have a deep desire to help people become lifelong Christ-followers but usually have a pretty fuzzy of what that looks like and how to help people become more like Jesus everyday.  Use the questions below to help clarify your intentions for supporting people's faith journey.QUESTION 1 | What are our DREAMS for helping people form faith every day?SAMPLE DREAM STATEMENT: Our deepe...  Read More