Monday, November 05, 2007

New Leaders of the Spiritual Formation Movement

In this issue of Perspective we are giving special attention to our new President, Chris Webb, and his family. This underscores a genuinely new reality for the Spiritual Formation Movement—a reality that has been mushrooming in the last decade or so. I am speaking of a wonderful cadre of fresh voices and able leaders. This is absolutely welcome news for those of us who have been laboring in this area of the Lord’s vineyard for thirty, even forty years.

RENOVARÉ’s own four-year leadership search has put us in touch with a vast array of these leaders. These fresh, young voices bode well for the future of the Spiritual Formation Movement. I thank God.

Visionary Voices On the local congregational level we have folk like John Ortberg of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California, and Rudy and Juanita Rasmus of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, and Robert Gelinas of Colorado Community Church in Aurora, Colorado, and Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken of Oak Hills Church in Folsom, California, and Trevor Hudson of Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni, South Africa, and Kai Nilsen of Peace Lutheran Church in Gahanna, Ohio, and many others.

In the Academy there is Gayle Beebe of Westmont College and Keith Matthews of Azusa Pacific University and Wendy Wright of Creighton University and Bruce Hindmarsh of Regent College (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) and Howard Baker of Denver Seminary and James Bryan Smith of Friends University and countless more.

Women writers in Spiritual Formation are gaining strength. Of course you may already know of Ruth Haley Barton and Kathleen Norris. I would also like to underscore Mindy Caliguire from the Chicago area and Valerie Hess from Boulder, Colorado. These are up and coming writers and leaders in the field of Spiritual Formation. Valerie’s and Mindy’s new books are featured in this issue of Perspective.

Among those working in “para-church” ministry I want to accent Todd Hunter who oversees Alpha in the U.S. and James Catford who is Chief Executive with Bible Society in the United Kingdom and our own Chris Webb who will now move beyond his roots in Wales into a world-wide parish!

I am particularly excited about the Korean leadership with which RENOVARÉ works. In this issue we are featuring Joshua Choonmin Kang’s book newly translated into English, Deep-Rooted in Christ. And I must not forget our own Brian Kang who has moved to South Korea to oversee the RENOVARÉ International Conference convening in October in Seoul, among other things.

I do not know that there is a Spiritual Formation movement but this is was Richard Foster has mentioned in his October 2007 Renovare Perspective. He even identified the names of some of the younger leaders. I shall be watching them carefully. Does anyone know what is a 'spiritual formation movement? And who are these 'new leaders'? Aside from one or two, the rest have not published or written extensively in this field. I am curious by what criteria Foster has chosen them.



Post a Comment

<< Home