The Revive journey continues with part two of a three-part series focused on who might be a good fit to participate in the program. Here, the Rev. Fran Wallace shares the scope of participation she has experienced as a leader and facilitator. For information about Revive, or to learn how to launch Revive in your ministry context, please be in touch with the Rev. Canon Leslie Gerlofs at [email protected].
Where/when/how does one’s faith formation journey begin? After experiencing Revive with someone who has engaged extensively with meditation and not as much with Christianity, and witnessing participants’ learning and appreciation of the program offerings—well, who is to say? Yes, God is at work in the wider world outside of, or surrounding, the church. Everyone benefits from spirit-ual formation; no one reaches a faith formation ending or final “pinnacle” of having it all together—as if graduating from spiritual formation. We can say we are never fully formed.
The website for the Revive discipleship program describes this opportunity as “equipping lay leaders to be spiritual leaders.” After doing Revive with persons of diverse faith backgrounds, we can say that in addition to persons who are lay leaders, Revive has also been transformative for persons who do not consider themselves to be lay leaders. Participating in this program has opened up prayer and scripture meditation for all participants in ways that had not been considered or experienced prior to engaging in Revive.
Do we need to know precisely where we are in our faith journey to consider participating with others in Revive faith formation? I don’t think so. My experiences from nearly two years of facilitating is that Revive is for anyone. It is a wonderful opportunity and offering to church leaders, and it is also a wonderful opportunity and offering to those who don’t consider themselves to be leaders in the church. Our groups have included persons new to church community, new to Christianity, and “cradle Anglicans”, as well as persons who refer to themselves as being in the realm of “progressive Christianity”. The conversations, closeness and trust, and benefits in spiritual formation are such a gift to all.
Since Revive is a way to engage people at all stages in the ongoing way of discipleship and faith formation, it is highly conducive to building skills around leading prayer, leading Scripture meditation, and understanding, naming, and identifying gifts for ministry. Leadership develops as people engage with Revive. I recommend offering Revive to anyone who is interested.
The exceptional offering of Revive is a gift to all, and those in our groups are grateful. Everyone at the end of the first year asked, “What’s next?”