Tiffany Malloy, Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk Church in Madison, WI joins Dan Hummel to talk about the role of spiritual formation in the church beyond Sunday services, the challenges that churches face, and the hope she has for the future.

Learn about Tiffany Malloy & Blackhawk Chruch

Watch Tiffany’s recent message: The Empowered Church: The Body of Christ

With Faith in Mind is produced at Upper House in Madison, Wisconsin and hosted by Director of University Engagement Dan Hummel and Executive Director John Terrill. Jesse Koopman is the Executive Producer. Upper House is an initiative of the Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation.

Please reach out to us with comments or questions at podcast@slbrownfoundation.org. We’d love to hear from you.

Transcript

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Hello and welcome to With Faith in Mind.

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I'm Dan Hummel, today's host

and the director of University engagement

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at Upper House.

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This episode is part of our series

on Christian education at the Crossroads.

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And we're welcoming

Tiffany Malloy to the podcast.

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Hi, Tiffany. Hi, how are you?

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Doing well.

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Excited for our conversation

a little about Tiffany.

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She is the pastor spiritual formation

at Blackhawk Church,

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which is actually where I go. It's

also where my wife works.

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Full disclosure at the front end,

also about Tiffany.

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Before she was the pastor

officer formation,

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she played a number of other roles

at Blackhawk Church,

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including as an associate pastor at

the downtown site of Blackhawk in Madison.

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And she has a Bachelor of Science

in Education

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from the University of Missouri, Columbia,

and an M.A.

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in Christian Leadership

from Asbury Theological Seminary.

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Tiffany, are you from Missouri?

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I am from Illinois.

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Okay.

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Just small town right outside Saint Louis.

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Okay. Okay.

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But what drew you to University

of Missouri?

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Yeah, well, I had narrowed it down

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to three schools,

and that was my closest school.

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And so when I visited the campus,

it was kind of my my fallback school.

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I wasn't really quite sure

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I wanted to go to a state school,

and I fell in love with the campus.

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And so that's.

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So you went there? Awesome.

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Okay.

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Well, before jumping in

on our topic today, which is going to be

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about Christian education in the church.

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Tiffany,

I know you a little bit personally.

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One thing I know about you is

you are a voracious reader.

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You read a lot of books.

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So is there a story behind that

or have you always been a reader?

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Is there a particular reason

you like reading so much?

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Poorly? Always.

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I remember when I was little,

I shared a room with my older sister

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who was seven years older than I was,

and she was wonderful

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and loud and messy

and took up a lot of space.

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And so I remember to kind of

I was very introverted.

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And so to get away from the loudness

and the chaos, I would go

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into our shared closet

where there was a light

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and I would put pillows all around

and I would just read for hours.

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And so I think maybe it began

as a way to kind of escape

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the good chaos

of our shared life together.

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But I have found yeah, I have found

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just such fun in both fiction

and nonfiction.

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I growing up, definitely fiction.

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And then once I hit high school,

I moved to nonfiction.

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And recently as a 40 year

old have moved back into reading fiction.

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So I think it's just a great way to,

I think.

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Right. There's so many lives to live.

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And so by we only get one, but by reading,

I think we get to live

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a lot of different lives.

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Yeah.

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Is there a particular genre

that you enjoy a lot?

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Oh, I mean, you know, maybe this is

I do read a lot of right now nonfiction

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and so leadership nonfiction or, you know,

Christian theology, different things.

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So maybe I'm super nerdy, pretty typical.

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But I do love, like Reese

Witherspoon's fiction Book of the month.

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So that's where I.

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That's right. Go for for pleasure.

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So very cool.

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Well, I think we'll we'll talk a little

about later on the role of at least know

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being a lifelong learner

in spiritual formation. So.

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So jumping

in, I thought it would be helpful

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to just get a sense of what

brought you into this line of work.

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Yeah.

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So basically, how did you find your way

into the vocation of a pastor

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and particularly

a pastor? Spiritual formation. Right.

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What an unusual place that I'm in.

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I think if you would have told my ten year

old self

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that this is where I would be,

they wouldn't know what to do with that.

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So I didn't really grow up in the church.

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I became a Christ

follower in middle school.

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But in height pretty soon, right?

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I began to just be so fascinated by

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Christian's relationship with the Bible.

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I thought it was interesting like that.

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They read it every day,

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and then every Sunday we're opening

and teaching it, teaching out of it.

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And it just seemed like the sacred book.

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And so began reading it myself

and then then wondered

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how what other people

thought of it. So I began to

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like kind of

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a Bible study, which I didn't really know

that's what it was.

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But in my high school, inviting other

Christians from other churches who

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I wanted to hear what they thought of it.

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Right. And so,

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so did that.

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I think I was so interested in

how people grow and how people are formed.

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From the very beginning,

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went to campus, went to college,

was a part of the campus ministry.

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Again, really enjoyed that experience,

meeting with younger students,

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learning about how their culture

and how their family

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and how their church background

has kind of influenced where they are

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and what questions

they were wrestling with

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led to so much.

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I went on staff at a campus ministry

for a few years and again

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where I think that's where God

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was continuing to grow,

that my love for environment of growth.

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And what does it mean for

what does it take for somebody

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to be open to

what God has for them in their lives?

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You know, I feel a particular

calling to college students.

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I mean, I thought so.

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I think it's because that's where that's

who I was and that's where I was at.

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And so I had thought,

oh, maybe I'll be a college pastor.

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Well, not a pastor, because that wasn't

in the in the Damnation.

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That was a part of

that wasn't really options.

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I didn't really maybe know what I wanted,

but but I did begin to sense

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that that maybe God

had something like that in mind.

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And so I ended up going to Asbury,

the Magical Seminary again, where

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I love the Bible, but I felt like,

you know why?

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I do love that Bible.

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And I think that my natural learning

can take me far

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in that kind of on my own

or reading different things.

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But I had experienced all throughout

college,

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just maybe some people,

some leaders in my life

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who were making what I thought

were kind of poor leadership decisions,

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and I could see how it was

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impacting the growth or not

growth of the people in our communities.

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And so

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and so when I went to seminary,

I thought I need to learn

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how organizations work,

how systems work, how

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all these things work

so that I can make better choices

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because

but the leaders in kind of our community

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where they are making these decisions

out of the out of really good intent,

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I think they were really doing the best

they had with the knowledge that they

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had. But

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I just don't think they really had taken

the time to understand how

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organizations work and some of the kind

of leadership parts of it.

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So so that's how I ended up studying

and came out of that.

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I was by the time I graduated,

I had three kids under the age of four,

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and so I ended up staying at home

for a while while my husband

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did grad school,

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instead moved here to Madison.

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My husband was studying at the university

education policy and as soon as my kids,

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most of them were in school,

I felt like, okay, Lord, this is time.

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What are we going to do?

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And and so there was a job

opening at Black Hawk,

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and I thought,

Oh, well, I've never like this.

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This was my church.

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And we are a part of it.

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But, you know,

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we had always been a part of kind

of small churches and campus ministries.

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And so I wondered, I don't know,

what would it be like to work at a church.

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So I was

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I actually my first job

was on the spiritual formation team

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and then had a variety of roles

like you had mentioned when you joined.

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Yeah. On that team.

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Did you understand in Degenerating

what spiritual formation was?

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I think that's. Clearly not.

Because that's a term.

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I think that that as I saw

it, is a churchy Yeah.

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Phrase.

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Yeah.

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What was that like sort of entering

into this particular way

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of thinking about spirituality

and dedication? All right.

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Yeah.

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Well, I think it was a word that was kind

of newer actually, at the time as well,

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because I think traditionally maybe

I thought of as discipleship.

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And I and I think that's what many people,

even in our congregation had considered.

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That's the word that you use.

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And so I remember

when I first came on the team

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that the pastor of spiritual formation

at that time, you know, it's

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sometimes share with me like,

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oh, some people are a little uncertain

about the use of this term.

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They don't understand it either.

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So he spent emails and conversations over

coffee explaining, Oh, no,

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this is another word for discipleship,

and it's about our growth.

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And so I did have context for that.

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So I did have context

for kind of the Christian education world

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is maybe what it had been called in

some of the churches that I

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was a part of in college and

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in youth group.

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And so so I did have a context for that,

and that's always been my heart is how

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I mean, I do want people obviously

to come to know Jesus,

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but often I feel like God has used me

in a process of after they've come to know

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Jesus to to begin to develop them

and their relationship with God.

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And even even the word discipleship that

might be a church or two in some sense.

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So what?

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Yeah, what's entailed by that.

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So I can imagine someone who's unfamiliar

with that term, or maybe it's

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used differently in different traditions

might think of like

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some type of mentor relationship

is the key to disciple making disciples.

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Yes, Jesus had disciples.

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Maybe I need to or it's like around

certain disciplines and related word.

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It's where maybe in a legalistic sense

these are the things you do

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to be a good Christian type thing. Yeah.

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So when you when you're using the word

either

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discipleship or spiritual formation,

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what sort of the what's the elevator pitch

for, for what that is.

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Yeah.

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I mean I to say it's, it's learning

to walk with God in our daily lives

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and so I think there is different forms

that discipleship can take

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and that different people are like

you had mentioned are familiar with.

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I grew up in campus ministry.

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1 to 1 discipleship

was what That's how you were disciple.

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That's how you grew. That's

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right.

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Other people kind of focus on

maybe a Sunday school experience

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where there's an expert or teacher

in the room and you're listening

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and you're having conversations

and digesting the material.

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But I really do think it's how are you?

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How are you becoming more and more

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formed into the image of Christ?

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And I would say more and more into

the image of who God created you to be.

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So I don't think we're all supposed

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to look cookie cutter

in the exact same way, but

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it's all contextualized into our wired

and what culture we grew up in

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and the gifting that God has gifted us

with.

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And so,

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yeah, it fits me.

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Yeah. And I think

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and maybe this is

this is something that's come up

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in a few of our conversation around

education

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is there's an assumption that education

is really a head thing, right?

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Like it's like in taking information

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and learning new facts

and ways to interpret things.

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But as I've understood

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spiritual formation, it's trying to be

I guess the word is holistic or something.

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It's thinking of,

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you know, heart,

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mind, soul, strength altogether.

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Is that how you think about it, too?

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Absolutely.

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And, you know, I yes, I would say

that often times I would say even in

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maybe in my limited church experience,

having really not really entered the,

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you know, the church world

until until middle school or high school,

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I have experienced

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this idea maybe that magic treatment,

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Christian education or education

or spiritual discipleship is head based.

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Like, if you know something, then

that means your life will be different.

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And so I do like the the nuances

maybe of the spiritual

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formation movement

where, you know, there is this author,

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his name is John Mark Komar,

and he talks about how spiritual formation

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is less like learning math

and more like learning karate, right?

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So this idea that it takes both knowledge

and practice to really know something.

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And so I think that

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right, that yes, spiritual formation

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is more than just belief,

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but that belief is a huge part

of shaping our desires and our practices

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and how we need to show up in the world

around us.

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Right? Yeah.

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So we

we didn't actually finish your story.

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I cut you off when you had joined

Blackhawk. Oh, yes.

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But you weren't yet

the pastor of spiritual formation.

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So what was it like to sort of become

the sort of the head of the ship of that?

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I know that.

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Oh, that was fun, because I

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maybe I didn't say this before, but my

first role on team was an assistant role.

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And so I remember just,

you know, kind of being like,

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I don't know if I have time to even work

outside the home, you know, as

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my kids were all little and stuff.

00;12;35;15 - 00;12;38;15

And so I was able to to watch,

00;12;38;16 - 00;12;41;20

to watch the team, to watch my boss

at the time who was the pastor,

00;12;41;21 - 00;12;45;26

spiritual formation to make decisions

to figure out how he's talking about it.

00;12;45;26 - 00;12;49;19

And I think it was such a gift to me

to be able to see somebody else do

00;12;49;19 - 00;12;51;02

it before I stepped in. But

00;12;52;07 - 00;12;54;25

I, I, like you had said I

00;12;54;25 - 00;12;59;03

after being on that team, I went downtown

and was associate pastor downtown.

00;12;59;03 - 00;13;05;03

And I began again, still began to help

people to figure out how to live this out.

00;13;05;03 - 00;13;08;25

So my job here,

I spent so much time with our congregation

00;13;08;25 - 00;13;12;00

over coffees talking

about where they were getting stuck

00;13;12;00 - 00;13;16;05

in their relationship with God,

how they could discover their gifts,

00;13;16;05 - 00;13;19;27

how how they could be a part of the life

of the body in different ways.

00;13;19;27 - 00;13;20;14

And so

00;13;20;14 - 00;13;22;06

so I think

even though I was on a different team,

00;13;22;06 - 00;13;23;06

I was I was doing

00;13;23;06 - 00;13;27;09

a lot of the implementing of it,

helping to see how what the decisions

00;13;27;09 - 00;13;29;02

that that team was making,

how it was showing up

00;13;29;02 - 00;13;31;27

in the daily lives of our congregation

and our community.

00;13;31;27 - 00;13;37;07

So so when I saw I came on

as pastor of Spiritual Formation, it was

00;13;38;25 - 00;13;40;28

it was I had the conversation

00;13;40;28 - 00;13;44;16

early March 2020, so

right before the pandemic hit.

00;13;44;17 - 00;13;46;06

And I remember like three days later

00;13;46;06 - 00;13;48;11

it was like, okay,

and this is not going to be the job.

00;13;48;11 - 00;13;51;09

I thought, because what are we doing?

You know?

00;13;51;09 - 00;13;54;10

And so but it has been so fine

00;13;54;10 - 00;13;57;28

because I think that being a part

of the Blackhawk community,

00;13;59;00 - 00;14;02;02

I was aware of some of the things,

some of the ways that we were praying

00;14;02;02 - 00;14;03;23

that our community would move in.

00;14;03;23 - 00;14;07;20

And so to be able to be

a part of the creation of some new things

00;14;07;20 - 00;14;11;26

that we had been dreaming about for years

was really exciting for me.

00;14;12;10 - 00;14;14;15

So you've mentioned

00;14;14;15 - 00;14;17;20

having a lot of coffees

and other things as part of the job.

00;14;17;21 - 00;14;17;26

Yeah,

00;14;17;26 - 00;14;22;02

I think people outside the church world

often wonder like, what does a pastor.

00;14;22;02 - 00;14;22;29

What does it say?

00;14;24;04 - 00;14;25;13

I got that question here at Upper House.

00;14;25;13 - 00;14;26;27

Yeah. What do you do all day?

00;14;26;27 - 00;14;28;24

Yeah, it. Has been asking me that.

00;14;28;24 - 00;14;30;18

What do you do all day?

00;14;30;18 - 00;14;30;27

Yeah.

00;14;30;27 - 00;14;33;26

So what is a pastor certification

do at a church?

00;14;33;26 - 00;14;34;25

Like back. Up. Yeah.

00;14;34;25 - 00;14;38;13

So in this role and because it's

maybe a little bit a larger church I have,

00;14;38;18 - 00;14;42;11

one of my big roles

is I lead a team of incredible, incredible

00;14;42;11 - 00;14;46;07

people who are thinking about different

areas of formation for our church.

00;14;46;07 - 00;14;50;06

And so we kind of think

of the spiritual formation

00;14;50;06 - 00;14;53;14

world as an ecosystem for our church.

00;14;53;14 - 00;14;56;01

And so we're we're watching

kind of the different areas.

00;14;56;01 - 00;14;58;28

So there is there's what we do on Sunday

mornings, right?

00;14;58;28 - 00;15;00;17

That's a huge part of our ecosystem.

00;15;00;17 - 00;15;05;00

There is community life,

so in what we call community groups.

00;15;05;14 - 00;15;06;12

So that's a big part.

00;15;06;12 - 00;15;10;10

We have Bible study and course things

which the courses are new that we're doing

00;15;10;10 - 00;15;10;27

this year is

00;15;11;26 - 00;15;14;13

that's

our learning arm, or we're helping people

00;15;14;13 - 00;15;18;01

to understand scripture

and understand theology and new ways.

00;15;19;03 - 00;15;22;14

And then we have kind

of a serving component where we're helping

00;15;22;25 - 00;15;27;03

to mobilize and get people connected

to serving opportunities

00;15;27;03 - 00;15;30;17

as another way of them

expressing their life with God.

00;15;31;19 - 00;15;34;00

So let's move to that.

00;15;34;00 - 00;15;37;10

So the church has a number of ways.

00;15;37;10 - 00;15;40;10

It's a thing of spiritual formation.

00;15;40;14 - 00;15;42;13

How does education fit into that?

00;15;42;13 - 00;15;45;15

And I'll let you define education

however you want, but

00;15;45;15 - 00;15;48;14

I think there's

00;15;49;12 - 00;15;51;03

you just mentioned service

as another role.

00;15;51;03 - 00;15;54;10

So service would be, in my mind, sort

of distinct from an education setting.

00;15;54;11 - 00;15;54;17

Yeah.

00;15;54;17 - 00;15;58;19

I think what we're trying to understand

here in this series is how do churches

00;15;58;19 - 00;16;02;07

play sort of an educational role

in the life of so many Christians

00;16;02;20 - 00;16;03;13

in their community.

00;16;03;13 - 00;16;06;06

So, yeah, How do you think about education

in the context of formation?

00;16;06;06 - 00;16;07;05

Yeah.

00;16;07;05 - 00;16;11;04

I think for us, we have an arm

that's kind of dedicated to that.

00;16;11;04 - 00;16;15;03

So we kind of we have

we have three buckets, if you will.

00;16;15;03 - 00;16;18;29

So we connect, which is more

the community, the relationship aspect

00;16;18;29 - 00;16;19;22

we have learn,

00;16;19;22 - 00;16;23;14

which is of course is in our Bible

study and insert, which is that arm.

00;16;23;14 - 00;16;28;13

And so for us

it looks like how do we help people

00;16;28;13 - 00;16;32;08

in our local congregation to move

00;16;32;18 - 00;16;35;19

in places into places that we

00;16;38;00 - 00;16;40;24

that we are recognizing the spirit

moving us in?

00;16;40;24 - 00;16;44;04

And so I think, you know,

there is the basic education

00;16;44;04 - 00;16;49;03

that that churches offer things,

theology 101 How to study the Bible,

00;16;50;09 - 00;16;53;16

introduction to spiritual practices,

you know, things like this

00;16;53;16 - 00;16;56;16

and which are really important

and probably

00;16;56;26 - 00;17;00;28

are going to happen in the church

more than they might happen elsewhere.

00;17;01;29 - 00;17;05;21

But we also have these other areas

that we sense that God is moving us

00;17;05;21 - 00;17;07;08

in the congregation towards.

00;17;07;08 - 00;17;13;04

And so we see the opportunity for us

to really concentrate our this education

00;17;13;04 - 00;17;16;16

in a way that's going to help

form people in that direction.

00;17;16;29 - 00;17;19;11

And so maybe an example of that.

00;17;19;11 - 00;17;21;09

So at Blackhawk in particular,

00;17;21;09 - 00;17;24;22

we believe that God is calling us

to be a multicultural community.

00;17;25;02 - 00;17;28;25

And so some of the tweets,

so we have to make choices every day.

00;17;28;25 - 00;17;30;15

That's in all of our different

00;17;30;15 - 00;17;32;27

kind of areas of ministry

that's going to move us in that direction.

00;17;32;27 - 00;17;36;26

And so for us, you know,

we are going to have to make the decision

00;17;37;14 - 00;17;41;02

to create spaces for people

from different cultures and ethnicities

00;17;41;02 - 00;17;44;24

to come together intentionally

to talk about different topics,

00;17;44;24 - 00;17;49;20

or we're going to provide opportunities

for white people

00;17;49;20 - 00;17;52;14

to explore their identity,

their white identity

00;17;52;14 - 00;17;55;15

if they've never explored that before,

and to be able to to wrestle with

00;17;55;15 - 00;17;59;18

some of those ideas

before moving into a multicultural space.

00;17;59;18 - 00;18;03;22

And so we're going to talk about

we're going to have specific, deeper

00;18;03;22 - 00;18;05;01

dive conversations.

00;18;05;01 - 00;18;10;29

It's a what does it mean for crossing

boundaries to be a spiritual practice?

00;18;10;29 - 00;18;13;04

Like how do we do that

together as a community?

00;18;13;04 - 00;18;15;02

And so so that's just one example.

00;18;15;02 - 00;18;18;29

But so I think there's those those general

those general areas, but then also the

00;18;18;29 - 00;18;23;22

particular areas that that guides calling

a particular local body to grow in.

00;18;23;27 - 00;18;24;25

Right?

00;18;24;25 - 00;18;27;25

When when you think

about these general areas,

00;18;29;02 - 00;18;30;26

something like a,

00;18;30;26 - 00;18;33;07

you know, changing a church's culture

to be multicultural

00;18;33;07 - 00;18;36;14

or something like that,

are you looking to.

00;18;37;22 - 00;18;40;17

I'm try to think of like the way

even a curriculum would develop.

00;18;40;17 - 00;18;42;24

Oh yeah. Are you

00;18;42;24 - 00;18;44;07

are you personally

reading a bunch of books

00;18;44;07 - 00;18;46;05

and then like sort of developing

a perspective?

00;18;46;05 - 00;18;49;18

Is it are there sort of networks

of churches that talk about this stuff?

00;18;49;18 - 00;18;51;17

Is a consulting a seminary?

00;18;51;17 - 00;18;54;17

Well, this might be

there might be a scholar of,

00;18;55;10 - 00;18;57;23

I don't know, multicultural ministry

or something like that.

00;18;57;23 - 00;19;00;28

Like how how does it how how's

the internal working of developing that?

00;19;00;29 - 00;19;03;12

Totally. Well, it's

definitely a collaborative process.

00;19;03;12 - 00;19;07;08

And so our team in particular,

we have an amazing teaching lead teaching

00;19;07;08 - 00;19;10;29

pastor who we work closely with

and we have a we'll talk

00;19;11;07 - 00;19;12;28

for for this example in particular, right?

00;19;12;28 - 00;19;16;06

We have a multicultural team

who is learning and

00;19;16;12 - 00;19;20;20

and who is knocking on other churches

doors to say, Hey, how did you do that?

00;19;20;20 - 00;19;22;09

Tell us about the early years.

00;19;22;09 - 00;19;25;14

There's conferences, networks of churches

who are in the trenches

00;19;25;14 - 00;19;26;15

doing this kind of work.

00;19;26;15 - 00;19;30;07

And so they get together every other year

and we go to that conference to say,

00;19;30;07 - 00;19;31;00

What are you learning?

00;19;31;00 - 00;19;35;15

How do we help our congregation

to continue to grow and we are reading so

00;19;35;16 - 00;19;36;21

many books, so

00;19;37;27 - 00;19;40;05

a lot

of us are reading a lot of different books

00;19;40;05 - 00;19;43;05

and so sharing with each other,

what are we learning?

00;19;43;12 - 00;19;44;26

We do some experiments.

00;19;44;26 - 00;19;47;07

And so a few years ago we did

00;19;47;07 - 00;19;50;13

these race and faith learning groups,

and so that was our attempt.

00;19;50;15 - 00;19;55;08

It's a basically a book club,

but we put out ten different books,

00;19;55;17 - 00;19;58;24

all having to do with race and ethnicity

and the church.

00;19;58;24 - 00;20;00;21

And so we said, Hey, sign up for these.

00;20;00;21 - 00;20;03;00

Let's learn together, let's grow together.

00;20;03;00 - 00;20;06;00

And so for a lot of us,

we weren't very much further ahead

00;20;06;00 - 00;20;09;09

than our congregation,

but we were saying, Let's learn together.

00;20;09;09 - 00;20;12;09

Let's be on this journey, this process.

00;20;12;25 - 00;20;15;23

None of us have arrived, but we think that

00;20;15;23 - 00;20;20;01

the learning together part

is an important piece of this as well.

00;20;20;01 - 00;20;22;01

So we continue to experiment.

00;20;22;01 - 00;20;23;04

We continue to do things.

00;20;23;04 - 00;20;26;13

But but for the most part,

if I'm able to even kind of expand it out,

00;20;26;13 - 00;20;28;18

it it's a lot of talking with other

churches.

00;20;28;18 - 00;20;31;29

It's a lot of having conversation

amongst ourselves.

00;20;31;29 - 00;20;36;29

You know, experimenting smart,

starting with small groups,

00;20;36;29 - 00;20;38;13

trying something once

00;20;38;13 - 00;20;41;14

and realizing, I mean, people said

this was going to be a good idea,

00;20;41;14 - 00;20;43;16

but we actually don't think

this curriculum is really landing.

00;20;43;16 - 00;20;46;16

So let's try something different

right before we before

00;20;46;16 - 00;20;49;16

we expand to the kind of wider

church community.

00;20;49;27 - 00;20;52;20

And as people are listening,

I mean, if if it's not clear

00;20;52;20 - 00;20;55;21

blackhawk's a pretty large church,

it has a big staff.

00;20;55;21 - 00;20;56;24

So you have like a lot of,

00;20;56;24 - 00;21;00;25

you know, people to bounce ideas off of

and a lot of opportunities to experiment.

00;21;00;25 - 00;21;04;21

I wonder if you could just reflect on

what are the benefits and drawbacks

00;21;05;10 - 00;21;07;12

of a large church like this?

Because I think there's both.

00;21;07;12 - 00;21;09;09

There's sort of the ability

to do certain things.

00;21;09;09 - 00;21;12;15

There's also certain challenges

when you have thousands of people

00;21;12;15 - 00;21;13;22

that you're trying to serve.

00;21;13;22 - 00;21;16;15

Yeah, absolutely.

I always talk about, you know, right.

00;21;16;15 - 00;21;17;10

Because there is

00;21;17;10 - 00;21;19;27

there's sponsored challenges

and there's big church challenges.

00;21;19;27 - 00;21;22;03

And I tell our interns

when they're kind of talking about this,

00;21;22;03 - 00;21;23;22

I said, you're going to have problems

either way.

00;21;23;22 - 00;21;24;14

You got to choose

00;21;24;14 - 00;21;28;09

what kind of problems you're excited about

or willing to help overcome.

00;21;28;09 - 00;21;28;17

Right?

00;21;28;17 - 00;21;34;05

So so I think, you know, being a large

church, things can move slow.

00;21;34;26 - 00;21;37;16

And that's hard. There is, right?

00;21;37;16 - 00;21;39;18

If there's thousands of people

00;21;39;18 - 00;21;43;19

who are trying to move in a direction

and that's tough.

00;21;43;19 - 00;21;48;11

And, you know, as you're leading

and you're hearing feedback from different

00;21;48;11 - 00;21;51;14

groups of people, you begin to question

00;21;51;14 - 00;21;54;14

whether you're doing the right thing.

00;21;55;00 - 00;21;59;05

You're thinking about all the different

stages of faith and stages of life.

00;21;59;05 - 00;22;03;02

And sometimes to try to meet

each kind of group where they are,

00;22;03;02 - 00;22;05;00

it feels like can take forever.

00;22;05;00 - 00;22;07;27

And I think that that is one

of the hardest things you have to have.

00;22;07;27 - 00;22;12;21

A lot of Tennessee, you have to realize

things are going to take a long time.

00;22;12;21 - 00;22;16;06

You're going to have your realizing that

you're not going to make everybody happy.

00;22;16;14 - 00;22;20;21

And so whether it's

something like race or it's something

00;22;21;28 - 00;22;23;14

very different,

00;22;23;14 - 00;22;26;16

people aren't going to like or agree

with the kind of a choice

00;22;26;16 - 00;22;30;12

that you're making another hard part

about Christian education

00;22;30;12 - 00;22;35;11

maybe, and a big church is that sometimes

you can feel like you have to go.

00;22;35;20 - 00;22;39;04

There's a temptation to feel like

you have to go lowest common denominator,

00;22;39;04 - 00;22;40;28

like low self discipleship,

00;22;40;28 - 00;22;43;28

because there's always going to be people

who are new, newer in the faith

00;22;43;28 - 00;22;45;22

and going to need to learn

and not going to be ready

00;22;45;22 - 00;22;47;07

for these bigger conversations.

00;22;47;07 - 00;22;50;22

And so,

you know, it's it's not a secret that

00;22;51;17 - 00;22;54;20

now I've had many conversations of black

cockatoos,

00;22;54;22 - 00;22;58;20

Black Caucus, you've been around for

ten years, 12 years, and they have said,

00;22;59;18 - 00;23;02;22

you know, I feel like I've outgrown and

and that's, you know,

00;23;02;23 - 00;23;05;07

I'll go, I'm Black Hawk.

And that's a common large church problem.

00;23;05;07 - 00;23;06;05

It's not just our problem.

00;23;06;05 - 00;23;08;09

It's it's a it's a common, larger problem.

00;23;08;09 - 00;23;12;10

And so because what they're saying is, oh,

this kind of low self discipleship,

00;23;12;10 - 00;23;15;20

which is intentional, really great

for new believers, young Christians

00;23;15;20 - 00;23;17;19

growing in their faith,

but you kind of hit a wall.

00;23;17;19 - 00;23;20;07

And so what what do I do? How do I grow?

00;23;20;07 - 00;23;24;05

And so that's a big challenge

that we are excited about

00;23;24;05 - 00;23;27;22

and that we're working to overcome,

you know?

00;23;27;22 - 00;23;29;29

But I would say in small churches,

00;23;29;29 - 00;23;32;15

I think, right,

some of the benefits are that you

00;23;33;16 - 00;23;35;08

you're able to dig in a little deeper.

00;23;35;08 - 00;23;38;15

You're able to to move a congregation,

a little faster.

00;23;38;15 - 00;23;40;23

You're able to

00;23;40;23 - 00;23;43;08

to do things

a little more intentionally sometimes.

00;23;43;08 - 00;23;47;21

And it's yeah, it's

easier to get people moving and engaged.

00;23;47;21 - 00;23;49;16

And so

00;23;49;16 - 00;23;51;12

but yeah, so.

00;23;51;12 - 00;23;53;16

That's right

that you sort of pick your poison. Yeah.

00;23;53;16 - 00;23;54;16

You really do. Right.

00;23;54;16 - 00;23;58;01

What excites you and what are you willing

to live with for, you know, your careers.

00;23;58;07 - 00;24;00;07

Yeah. One ministry, one challenge.

00;24;00;07 - 00;24;03;07

Just as someone who's

been a part of many large churches

00;24;03;11 - 00;24;05;27

that I notice, too, and it goes right

along with what you were saying,

00;24;05;27 - 00;24;09;03

which is that a lot of large churches

like the the sort of

00;24;10;06 - 00;24;14;02

the orientation of the church

is toward growth and sort of the success.

00;24;14;02 - 00;24;17;02

Mark, the metrics of success are like,

are more people coming?

00;24;17;03 - 00;24;21;00

Are more people, you know, sort of

becoming members, all that kind of stuff?

00;24;21;00 - 00;24;21;09

Yeah.

00;24;21;09 - 00;24;23;00

And so it can lead

to what you were talking about,

00;24;23;00 - 00;24;25;09

which is an emphasis

on sort of the new person,

00;24;26;10 - 00;24;28;08

the non-Christian and bringing them in.

00;24;28;08 - 00;24;28;17

Yeah.

00;24;28;17 - 00;24;30;23

Which of course is I agree with.

00;24;30;23 - 00;24;32;20

But it does leave

00;24;32;20 - 00;24;35;12

a different type of growth

which might be a growing deeper

00;24;35;12 - 00;24;38;19

or sort of more discipleship model

for the people who are already there

00;24;38;19 - 00;24;40;21

and have been there. Absolutely.

00;24;40;21 - 00;24;41;16

And I wonder if that.

00;24;41;16 - 00;24;43;28

So you've already identified that tension.

00;24;43;28 - 00;24;49;11

Has that has thinking changed in the last

few years on that, just based on COVID?

00;24;49;11 - 00;24;50;21

And I know a lot of

00;24;50;21 - 00;24;55;05

churches are sort of rethinking

basic strategies and things 100%.

00;24;55;05 - 00;24;55;21

I mean, right.

00;24;55;21 - 00;24;59;07

I think for many of us, small

and large church, you kind of saw

00;24;59;07 - 00;25;02;21

what happened to your church congregation

when COVID hit.

00;25;02;21 - 00;25;03;02

Right?

00;25;03;02 - 00;25;05;25

At first, people were excited to,

00;25;05;25 - 00;25;10;05

I mean, in our case, to be online, right,

to do church in a new way

00;25;10;05 - 00;25;11;18

and, you know, side to be there

00;25;11;18 - 00;25;14;20

for each other and continue

to be in small groups and figure that out.

00;25;14;20 - 00;25;16;18

But over time,

00;25;16;18 - 00;25;20;16

as is that kind of the month waned on,

we saw a lot of people kind of step away

00;25;20;26 - 00;25;22;20

and we saw that they

00;25;22;20 - 00;25;26;03

they were stepping away

from the Sunday morning church experience

00;25;26;13 - 00;25;28;25

and that's what they thought

they were only stepping away from.

00;25;28;25 - 00;25;33;00

But then they actually you talked to them

later on and just stories after stories

00;25;33;00 - 00;25;36;17

of like actually I just kind of stopped

following Jesus altogether.

00;25;36;17 - 00;25;37;03

Right.

00;25;37;03 - 00;25;40;13

And so they had for many people

unknowingly and and our church, right.

00;25;40;13 - 00;25;43;01

We had substituted a life with God.

00;25;43;01 - 00;25;45;28

And this their spiritual growth

or spiritual educate,

00;25;45;28 - 00;25;46;13

you know, Christian

00;25;46;13 - 00;25;50;12

education, if you will be, first of all,

putting all of our eggs in one basket

00;25;50;12 - 00;25;53;29

was the Sunday morning worship

experience teaching, you know,

00;25;54;19 - 00;25;59;24

and realizing maybe, you know,

as this really tough time kind of

00;26;00;10 - 00;26;03;23

was a kind of like a pressure cooker

in people's lives, kind of saw

00;26;03;23 - 00;26;08;07

maybe the kind of Christ followers

we had been forming.

00;26;08;07 - 00;26;11;07

And I think for many churches,

we kind of love

00;26;11;07 - 00;26;14;19

a wake up call and pretty determined.

00;26;14;19 - 00;26;18;22

I think many of us on the other side

to you to spend that time

00;26;19;13 - 00;26;23;02

digging deeper,

helping people in our congregation

00;26;23;02 - 00;26;27;11

and to to really focus on more

than just a Sunday experience.

00;26;27;11 - 00;26;29;21

But but their but their life with God

and being able to

00;26;29;21 - 00;26;30;27

to talk about some of the things

00;26;32;17 - 00;26;34;09

theology you know

00;26;34;09 - 00;26;37;03

different things to help them to ground

down them better so.

00;26;37;03 - 00;26;40;26

And so that it sounds like that would put

sort of the spiritual formation

00;26;40;26 - 00;26;45;10

framework sort of more central

to what the church is called to do.

00;26;45;17 - 00;26;48;16

Yeah, in the sense that

00;26;48;23 - 00;26;50;11

if there's a realization that

00;26;50;11 - 00;26;53;11

that people aren't being formed

the proper way in the old way, yeah.

00;26;53;13 - 00;26;54;06

Then it's the spirit.

00;26;54;06 - 00;26;55;16

Is that sort of the spiritual formation,

00;26;55;16 - 00;26;57;14

sort of the answer,

at least the proposed answer.

00;26;57;14 - 00;26;58;18

Yeah, Yeah, I do think so.

00;26;58;18 - 00;27;02;14

I do think it's like helping

and I think seeing again, like this

00;27;02;14 - 00;27;06;22

ecosystem that like this,

the Sunday morning experience is important

00;27;06;22 - 00;27;10;17

and it has a place, but it, it can't,

it can't hold everything.

00;27;10;23 - 00;27;14;25

And so yeah, being able to more robustly

build these other

00;27;15;10 - 00;27;19;10

areas, helping people

to see the value of engaging in this way.

00;27;19;15 - 00;27;24;03

Oftentimes what this our team

a spiritual formation looks like a

00;27;24;12 - 00;27;27;26

a monday through Saturday faith like like

like what happens in between

00;27;28;06 - 00;27;30;18

you know when you gather

on a Sunday morning. And so

00;27;31;20 - 00;27;32;10

that can be tough

00;27;32;10 - 00;27;35;10

sometimes even after COVID to to

00;27;36;12 - 00;27;38;10

convince people that it's worth their time

00;27;38;10 - 00;27;41;10

and it's worth reordering

their whole lives around.

00;27;41;20 - 00;27;44;10

But I also think that

00;27;44;10 - 00;27;45;19

I think that's okay.

00;27;45;19 - 00;27;48;18

I think that,

00;27;48;18 - 00;27;50;26

you know, the call of Jesus in our lives

00;27;50;26 - 00;27;54;12

to be disciples

is is a hard call sometimes.

00;27;54;12 - 00;27;56;28

And so it's a choice

that we all have to make of

00;27;56;28 - 00;28;01;00

how are we going to be

choosing to walk with God and how are

00;28;01;05 - 00;28;04;15

what are we can give our mind space to

and our energy and our time.

00;28;04;27 - 00;28;07;17

And so, yeah, so I think it is okay.

00;28;07;17 - 00;28;07;29

You know,

00;28;07;29 - 00;28;08;17

you know,

00;28;08;17 - 00;28;11;16

one of the things that we talked about

when we started creating these courses

00;28;11;16 - 00;28;14;19

and different things is often with large

churches, it's okay.

00;28;14;19 - 00;28;16;04

Well,

you have to have certain number of people

00;28;16;04 - 00;28;19;09

to come to this event to make it worth it,

to make it worth our time.

00;28;19;09 - 00;28;23;10

But we have totally

that is not our thinking at all.

00;28;23;10 - 00;28;25;10

We said

if there are some of these courses,

00;28;25;10 - 00;28;28;07

if there are five people

who are showing up to this course

00;28;28;07 - 00;28;30;08

because they want to learn

how to say the Bible,

00;28;30;08 - 00;28;33;07

it is going to be worth our time

and we're going to do it despite it

00;28;33;07 - 00;28;36;25

doesn't matter how many people show up,

like with the people who are showing up.

00;28;37;03 - 00;28;39;23

These are the people that are going

to be pouring into that. We're going to be

00;28;40;21 - 00;28;42;07

discipling because we believe

00;28;42;07 - 00;28;46;18

that the church isn't just like a come

and see kind of orientation.

00;28;46;18 - 00;28;49;17

And because that that has been a lot

of the attraction of our church model.

00;28;49;17 - 00;28;54;11

But said I kind of talk about the go

and be like we are going to be the site

00;28;54;11 - 00;28;58;15

when people say that they are out in their

workplaces and in their neighborhoods

00;28;58;15 - 00;29;02;08

and they're able to live their life

with God in front of people in a way that

00;29;03;09 - 00;29;04;29

that makes sense

to the people around them.

00;29;04;29 - 00;29;08;12

So this reminds me of,

as someone who is a historian

00;29;08;12 - 00;29;10;28

and thinks about these things

in sort of historic terms,

00;29;10;28 - 00;29;15;04

there was a phase and Blackhawk was a part

of this in the nineties and 2000.

00;29;15;21 - 00;29;18;05

It was when one of the heights

of the church growth movement,

00;29;18;05 - 00;29;18;15

which was a

00;29;18;15 - 00;29;22;02

certain way of thinking about church

to sort of grow the people coming in.

00;29;22;09 - 00;29;26;02

And there was a lot done there,

but there was a response to that,

00;29;26;14 - 00;29;30;15

which was the missional church movement

and the sort of the contrast

00;29;30;15 - 00;29;33;08

you just said about like bringing people

in versus sending people out.

00;29;33;08 - 00;29;37;13

Like that was one of the core differences

between those two sort of frameworks.

00;29;37;13 - 00;29;37;29

Yeah.

00;29;37;29 - 00;29;40;25

So it's interesting how those frameworks

sort of worked themselves out

00;29;40;25 - 00;29;43;11

in very particular ways in the programing

that a church does

00;29;43;11 - 00;29;46;24

and where they put emphasis

if they're willing to have a five person

00;29;46;24 - 00;29;51;03

class versus this must have 100 people

for it to be worth our time or whatever.

00;29;51;22 - 00;29;55;26

But it's interesting to see how that

that sort of missional church movement

00;29;55;28 - 00;30;00;01

that was pre-COVID, that was like

the 20 tens or so or 2020 is 20 tens,

00;30;00;28 - 00;30;03;18

but it seems like it

sort of is fit for the moment.

00;30;03;18 - 00;30;05;20

Yeah, the sort of post 2020 moment.

00;30;05;20 - 00;30;06;18

Absolutely.

00;30;06;18 - 00;30;10;11

And I think for us in particular,

we're like, can we do both?

00;30;10;15 - 00;30;12;10

I think that's our bigger like,

can we do off?

00;30;12;10 - 00;30;15;14

Like can we be a place that

00;30;16;01 - 00;30;18;16

where people who are not

Christ followers are going to feel

00;30;20;02 - 00;30;23;02

comfortable, where they're going

to be intrigued or they're going to hear.

00;30;23;08 - 00;30;24;01

Right. The gospel? Sure.

00;30;24;01 - 00;30;27;06

In a way that makes sense

to their ordinary, normal lives

00;30;27;06 - 00;30;29;07

that aren't church,

you know, not the church world or

00;30;29;07 - 00;30;32;07

but at the same time, can we also build,

00;30;33;09 - 00;30;34;08

build disciples.

00;30;34;08 - 00;30;37;05

And I and I think the answer is yes.

00;30;37;05 - 00;30;39;20

And I think, like you

said, kind of creates an ecosystem.

00;30;39;20 - 00;30;42;20

And so I think maybe in one

or both of those models,

00;30;43;03 - 00;30;46;14

you know, kind of different parts

of your ecosystem are dying.

00;30;46;14 - 00;30;49;24

And so how do you give

how do you tend all those parts, Right?

00;30;49;25 - 00;30;51;03

Can we do it.

00;30;51;03 - 00;30;51;23

With each other? Yes.

00;30;51;23 - 00;30;54;07

The great experiment

that many of us are in right now. So.

00;30;54;07 - 00;30;55;21

That's right. That's right.

00;30;55;21 - 00;30;59;06

So, Tiffanie, I wonder if you could just

talk a bit about how you see

00;30;59;21 - 00;31;03;02

what you're doing at Black

Hawk in relation to all the other

00;31;03;02 - 00;31;05;23

educational options

that might be available for someone,

00;31;05;23 - 00;31;10;14

everything from YouTube videos that they

can watch about the Bible or something

00;31;11;10 - 00;31;16;07

or about church history or something

to formal seminaries and other things.

00;31;16;07 - 00;31;17;28

And I'm sure a place like Blackhawk,

there's people

00;31;17;28 - 00;31;20;27

going for dabbling in all those different

things at different levels.

00;31;21;28 - 00;31;22;04

Yeah.

00;31;22;04 - 00;31;25;19

How do you how do you see your your work

sort of in relation to that spectrum.

00;31;25;24 - 00;31;26;07

Yeah.

00;31;26;07 - 00;31;30;07

You know, I do think that probably 85,

00;31;30;07 - 00;31;33;11

90% of our church,

00;31;34;09 - 00;31;37;13

we probably are the sole place

00;31;37;13 - 00;31;40;23

that they are getting Christian education.

00;31;40;24 - 00;31;43;26

And so when I say that, it's

actually surprising maybe that I haven't

00;31;44;13 - 00;31;46;11

maybe had that thought before.

00;31;46;11 - 00;31;48;21

But for the most part,

00;31;48;21 - 00;31;51;20

you know, we have found that many people

in our congregation, right?

00;31;51;20 - 00;31;56;12

They're working

40, 50, 60 hours a week, many of them,

00;31;56;18 - 00;32;00;17

maybe 40, 50% of them are raising

children.

00;32;01;22 - 00;32;03;05

Others are even.

00;32;03;05 - 00;32;05;24

We have a large tech company,

you know, close by.

00;32;05;24 - 00;32;08;07

They're working even more hours than that.

00;32;08;07 - 00;32;12;07

And so the amount of free time

is that outside of work

00;32;12;07 - 00;32;18;17

and outside of family that people have

to give to their own education is slim.

00;32;18;29 - 00;32;23;13

And so I think I feel like we are fighting

for the most part, we're fighting

00;32;23;13 - 00;32;27;19

against those other kind of factors

to help people to to value this.

00;32;27;19 - 00;32;28;04

And so

00;32;30;14 - 00;32;32;20

and so most of our congregation

00;32;32;20 - 00;32;38;17

doesn't have time to engage

in a seminary level course.

00;32;38;28 - 00;32;43;07

But I mean, we do try to to kind of point

people in different directions.

00;32;43;17 - 00;32;45;04

Bible project is a big one.

00;32;45;04 - 00;32;48;29

They have courses actually,

that they do at seminary level courses

00;32;48;29 - 00;32;52;06

that we that we encourage people to to go

after if they

00;32;53;12 - 00;32;54;17

if they want that.

00;32;54;17 - 00;32;59;26

But for the most part, I find that people

they're not going to uproot their lives

00;32;59;26 - 00;33;04;26

to and

and pay for this great university level

00;33;05;13 - 00;33;07;29

or seminary level education.

00;33;07;29 - 00;33;11;21

I am actually really thankful

for Upper House because we it's

00;33;11;21 - 00;33;15;18

been a resource that we've been able

to push kind of that 10% to

00;33;15;20 - 00;33;17;25

that they do want to be challenged

in their thinking

00;33;17;25 - 00;33;20;25

that they do want to think about ideas

outside of their every day

00;33;21;02 - 00;33;22;29

maybe what they come across

in their everyday life.

00;33;24;01 - 00;33;26;16

And so it's been a gift for us

to be able to

00;33;26;16 - 00;33;28;13

to have a resource,

to be able to push people towards.

00;33;28;13 - 00;33;31;19

But I would say in general

we're kind of it.

00;33;31;22 - 00;33;31;28

Yeah.

00;33;31;28 - 00;33;35;22

So, so you're thinking about when you're

thinking about education, it's really like

00;33;37;29 - 00;33;38;29

more or less assuming

00;33;38;29 - 00;33;42;04

that whatever you say is going to be

sort of the totality of what.

00;33;42;04 - 00;33;43;14

Yeah, many people.

00;33;43;14 - 00;33;47;10

Is there any is there ever

maybe this is just you do this privately

00;33;47;16 - 00;33;50;11

and maybe don't do it publicly. But,

00;33;50;11 - 00;33;52;07

you know,

00;33;52;07 - 00;33;54;25

I totally agree with you

that people are busy.

00;33;54;25 - 00;33;56;29

I'm busy kids, all that kind of stuff.

00;33;56;29 - 00;33;58;20

You know,

we do know the stats of like how much time

00;33;58;20 - 00;34;00;25

people spend on phones,

how much time they watch

00;34;00;25 - 00;34;02;03

Netflix and other streaming things.

00;34;02;03 - 00;34;05;05

And it's like, you know, people

make choices about people make choices.

00;34;05;05 - 00;34;07;29

And those choices often,

as we've been talking about,

00;34;07;29 - 00;34;10;12

sort of lead to certain habits

that form you in certain ways.

00;34;10;12 - 00;34;12;05

Is there ever sort

of the prophetic edge where

00;34;13;20 - 00;34;16;19

you just wish people would spend more time

00;34;17;03 - 00;34;17;26

educating themselves?

00;34;17;26 - 00;34;19;14

I mean, to be honest,

if I could point the finger

00;34;19;14 - 00;34;22;00

at myself, right, I mean,

I on Sunday morning, it's so funny.

00;34;22;00 - 00;34;23;02

If you have an iPhone,

00;34;23;02 - 00;34;25;22

it's actually probably

during the Sunday morning church service.

00;34;25;22 - 00;34;29;14

If you're attending that

is that you get your report for the week.

00;34;29;26 - 00;34;32;20

So we're all like,

what do you write during this sermon?

00;34;32;20 - 00;34;35;28

Like, Oh, wow, I have spent

a lot of time on my phone right?

00;34;35;28 - 00;34;38;18

So, I mean, even for myself,

I see this, but

00;34;38;18 - 00;34;41;16

and I actually think that's something

we do talk to our congregation

00;34;41;16 - 00;34;45;24

about how I think just this

maybe a past week or two, you write,

00;34;46;02 - 00;34;50;04

are one of our teaching pastors, right,

saying like, hey, to be honest,

00;34;50;05 - 00;34;52;20

if you have 2 hours to like

00;34;52;20 - 00;34;55;20

just a scroll on your phone,

you have time to get in

00;34;55;20 - 00;34;58;21

to scripture, you have time to watch

a Bible project video.

00;34;58;21 - 00;35;00;13

You have time to read a book. You know,

00;35;01;12 - 00;35;04;12

one of the things that

we do for each of our sermons is that we

00;35;04;17 - 00;35;07;17

we have a series resource page

or we put kind of some next steps

00;35;07;17 - 00;35;08;14

that people want to dig deeper.

00;35;08;14 - 00;35;11;23

So a book or a podcast episode

or an article to read.

00;35;13;01 - 00;35;16;23

And so we do definitely encourage people

in that way.

00;35;16;23 - 00;35;20;19

But I would say for the most part,

those things aren't probably

00;35;20;19 - 00;35;24;05

as utilized as much as as much

as we wish that they were, but

00;35;25;19 - 00;35;28;15

but when they are, it's so fun to hear it.

00;35;28;15 - 00;35;30;29

It's kind of the conversations

that come up in our country.

00;35;30;29 - 00;35;32;03

Simple. Right?

00;35;32;03 - 00;35;35;23

And that's why this next question

might be saying a few things here.

00;35;35;23 - 00;35;39;07

But what do you see

are the biggest challenges to, um.

00;35;39;19 - 00;35;40;12

To your work?

00;35;40;12 - 00;35;42;21

Yeah, to educating the congregation.

00;35;42;21 - 00;35;46;03

I think we've mentioned sort of a time

limitations being one, but.

00;35;46;03 - 00;35;46;24

But what else?

00;35;46;24 - 00;35;51;20

I mean, to be honest,

I would say busyness is the enemy

00;35;51;20 - 00;35;54;20

of our spiritual growth as human beings

00;35;54;22 - 00;35;57;26

in America in an overeducated city.

00;35;57;26 - 00;35;58;15

I think

00;36;00;20 - 00;36;04;09

that alone, I think is the hardest thing

we are competing

00;36;04;09 - 00;36;07;20

with as so many other things

for people's time and attention.

00;36;08;03 - 00;36;10;28

And it's hard to grow

00;36;10;28 - 00;36;15;03

when you even say, okay, great,

I five or 10 minutes to

00;36;15;08 - 00;36;19;00

to get like that's not like,

you know, like the reflective life like,

00;36;19;04 - 00;36;23;18

like we grow when reflect

on our experiences and what we're learning

00;36;23;27 - 00;36;27;14

and when we don't have time in our lives

to reflect.

00;36;27;14 - 00;36;30;14

I don't actually think that we're growing

00;36;30;26 - 00;36;31;22

in our lives of God.

00;36;31;22 - 00;36;35;10

And so I do think that that's the

that's the biggest one.

00;36;35;18 - 00;36;37;05

Yeah,

00;36;37;05 - 00;36;39;19

well, and that might get to

00;36;39;19 - 00;36;42;10

this question when if you could

00;36;42;10 - 00;36;45;10

snap your fingers and sort of the

00;36;45;12 - 00;36;48;26

the congregation is sort of embodying

a mature spiritually formed.

00;36;48;26 - 00;36;49;10

Yeah.

00;36;49;10 - 00;36;50;07

What does that look like.

00;36;50;07 - 00;36;52;05

What,

what are you sort of aiming for. Yeah.

00;36;52;05 - 00;36;54;09

For knowing

that most of us will always fall.

00;36;54;09 - 00;36;56;04

We fall short of the ideal.

00;36;56;04 - 00;36;57;02

But what are you aiming for?

00;36;57;02 - 00;37;00;02

Yeah, I think you know, the church, each

00;37;01;11 - 00;37;04;11

being the body of Christ

00;37;05;00 - 00;37;08;20

in a real everyday

lives, in our real everyday lives.

00;37;08;20 - 00;37;10;28

Or we are

00;37;10;28 - 00;37;14;01

spending time with God

and spending time with each other.

00;37;14;01 - 00;37;18;12

We are reorienting or orienting

our entire lives around

00;37;18;29 - 00;37;21;29

community and around

00;37;23;08 - 00;37;28;04

doing good work in the world,

but in ways that aren't frantic

00;37;28;04 - 00;37;32;09

and in ways that where we can trust

00;37;32;21 - 00;37;35;21

that the work that we're doing is enough,

00;37;36;03 - 00;37;39;12

where we're spending time in the evenings

with each other.

00;37;39;12 - 00;37;41;15

Right, and sort of

00;37;41;15 - 00;37;44;07

scroll, you know, watching Netflix

because we're all really tired.

00;37;44;07 - 00;37;46;17

We've given all that we can

00;37;46;17 - 00;37;48;24

serving one another,

serving in our communities.

00;37;48;24 - 00;37;53;03

I think so much of what I do on our,

you know, as I'm trying to help

00;37;53;03 - 00;37;57;07

form people into the image of God, what

that it's it's for the good of our world.

00;37;57;07 - 00;37;58;22

It's for the sake of the mission.

00;37;58;22 - 00;38;02;21

Like that's the that's actually the point

that we become more like

00;38;02;21 - 00;38;06;28

Christ not to be better people,

but to reflect God to the world.

00;38;06;28 - 00;38;10;20

And it's hard to do

when we're not spending time with people

00;38;11;07 - 00;38;13;13

slowing down

and having that space with one another.

00;38;13;13 - 00;38;13;26

And so.

00;38;15;27 - 00;38;18;03

So that would be my dream.

00;38;18;03 - 00;38;20;05

Yeah, for our communication.

00;38;20;05 - 00;38;20;21

I wonder.

00;38;20;21 - 00;38;23;21

This is something that's attracted me

to some of the spiritual formation

00;38;23;22 - 00;38;24;11

literature.

00;38;24;11 - 00;38;27;11

Is this like fundamental insight?

00;38;28;05 - 00;38;31;05

I think of Dallas Willard as someone who

which is like

00;38;32;20 - 00;38;35;09

you as an individual within a community.

00;38;35;09 - 00;38;38;09

Like there are things you can do

00;38;38;12 - 00;38;40;29

to be more Christ, like just that.

00;38;40;29 - 00;38;43;19

The fundamental insight,

which I think for a lot of Christians,

00;38;43;19 - 00;38;46;21

they either just don't think that

they think there's this unattainable goal,

00;38;46;21 - 00;38;50;02

and I'm just going to sort of

try to muddle through and not really

00;38;51;28 - 00;38;55;13

develop or maybe some people assume

we're just so sinful.

00;38;55;13 - 00;38;56;26

There's just like nothing.

00;38;56;26 - 00;39;00;29

It's just about sort of asking

for forgiveness or something like that.

00;39;00;29 - 00;39;04;06

And I think that that's

what's been appealing to me about this

00;39;04;06 - 00;39;07;10

particular way of thinking

about formation, thinking about education

00;39;07;24 - 00;39;10;28

is there are things we can do as as

00;39;12;01 - 00;39;14;08

to and some of them are learning things,

00;39;14;08 - 00;39;17;18

but some of them are actually practices

that get us

00;39;18;21 - 00;39;21;22

to to what your your vision is.

00;39;21;23 - 00;39;22;12

My goodness.

00;39;22;12 - 00;39;27;06

I mean, I think this is about living

the abundant life that Jesus promises us.

00;39;27;06 - 00;39;31;00

Like, I you know, I think I think about

there's a young woman, our congregation,

00;39;31;16 - 00;39;32;15

she's a teacher.

00;39;32;15 - 00;39;36;17

And just thinking about the way

that she shows up in her public school

00;39;36;17 - 00;39;40;23

educate, you know, as a public school

educator in a way that brings good to her

00;39;40;23 - 00;39;43;23

class, that encourages like, loves

00;39;44;20 - 00;39;47;06

that make us really

makes the world a better place.

00;39;47;06 - 00;39;50;29

And which is so cliche,

but I actually think how exciting,

00;39;50;29 - 00;39;54;02

how exciting that

that we get as Chrysler's

00;39;54;02 - 00;39;57;26

to impact the world today

and that the Christian life isn't it?

00;39;57;29 - 00;39;58;22

Isn't it?

00;39;58;22 - 00;40;01;27

It's like the most boring part of it

maybe is about forgiveness.

00;40;01;27 - 00;40;02;28

It's like what in the world?

00;40;02;28 - 00;40;06;27

Like there's so much life to be had

and so much good work to be done,

00;40;06;27 - 00;40;09;27

not in like a difficult, hard way,

but in a way

00;40;10;09 - 00;40;13;09

that allows the people around us

and ourselves to flourish.

00;40;13;22 - 00;40;14;21

And so

00;40;15;22 - 00;40;17;26

I hope that as people continue to grow,

00;40;17;26 - 00;40;22;17

that they see that vision for where

God has for them, what God has for them.

00;40;23;08 - 00;40;25;18

Well, you mentioned something

just a few minutes ago

00;40;25;18 - 00;40;29;10

about sort of what you feel your mind

with.

00;40;29;10 - 00;40;32;10

And I want to talk a bit about this,

a little more conceptual, but

00;40;33;25 - 00;40;36;11

interested in is sort of a subset

of spiritual formation.

00;40;36;11 - 00;40;39;11

Is intellectual formation

sort of the formation of the mind? Yes.

00;40;39;13 - 00;40;42;21

And I wonder when I say that

the formation of the mind, like Like what?

00;40;43;00 - 00;40;44;00

What comes to mind?

00;40;44;00 - 00;40;48;14

Like what do you think being formed in

Christ likeness in your mind is?

00;40;48;14 - 00;40;53;07

And I and just to sort of set the table,

I think two things that come to mind,

00;40;53;08 - 00;40;54;08

obviously, for me.

00;40;54;08 - 00;40;57;29

One is like a certain set of

truth or information.

00;40;57;29 - 00;40;58;17

I guess

00;41;00;13 - 00;41;02;02

that could be part of the answer.

00;41;02;02 - 00;41;07;19

Another would be sort of like virtues,

like humility and curiosity

00;41;08;06 - 00;41;12;19

that would sort of no matter what

type of information or knowledge you're

00;41;12;19 - 00;41;16;07

looking at, would sort of just be like

Christlike ways of approaching it.

00;41;16;07 - 00;41;18;01

So anyway, those are two things. Great.

00;41;18;01 - 00;41;19;08

But I wonder what comes to mind for you

00;41;19;08 - 00;41;21;27

when you think of a mind

in in the likeness of Christ?

00;41;21;27 - 00;41;26;03

Yeah, you know, it's funny

because I grew up in a denomination

00;41;26;03 - 00;41;31;09

that really is kind of known

for being anti-intellectual,

00;41;31;09 - 00;41;33;29

but in my local community

was very intellectual.

00;41;33;29 - 00;41;37;22

So I remember when I became a Christian,

you know,

00;41;37;28 - 00;41;41;19

these lay leaders would teach our

youth groups these like really,

00;41;42;01 - 00;41;45;07

like really fantastic, like theological,

00;41;46;09 - 00;41;49;03

you know, just on different topics

00;41;49;03 - 00;41;53;08

and helping us to understand

kind the nuances of

00;41;54;11 - 00;41;56;19

different,

different views on different things.

00;41;56;19 - 00;41;59;19

So I think about

when I think about the mind, I think

00;42;00;14 - 00;42;03;14

like you said, truth,

like being filled with,

00;42;03;21 - 00;42;05;21

with, with the knowledge

00;42;05;21 - 00;42;08;21

that we have in the Bible, that

00;42;08;23 - 00;42;12;21

being able to be good students of the word

and understanding

00;42;13;04 - 00;42;16;06

the Bible is not written, you know, to us

before us or what does that mean?

00;42;16;06 - 00;42;20;24

And being able to handle, handle scripture

and handle different

00;42;21;19 - 00;42;25;09

philosophical views,

whatever, with maturity and with, like you

00;42;25;09 - 00;42;28;15

said, integrity and curiosity and openness

00;42;28;15 - 00;42;31;15

and also firmness of my right. So,

00;42;32;07 - 00;42;34;15

yeah, and it's interesting

because you've been talking

00;42;34;15 - 00;42;35;28

about humility, different things.

00;42;35;28 - 00;42;39;02

I it's funny because I think for me,

I think those maybe

00;42;39;02 - 00;42;40;08

being issues at the heart.

00;42;40;08 - 00;42;43;25

And so so I think for me,

when I think about the mind,

00;42;43;25 - 00;42;46;24

I think about information,

00;42;46;29 - 00;42;49;22

but not just information, but information

00;42;51;28 - 00;42;53;20

connected and community.

00;42;53;20 - 00;42;55;18

So I think of conversations.

00;42;55;18 - 00;43;00;10

I think of being learning how to have

conversations about things that are hard,

00;43;01;14 - 00;43;04;14

being willing to

00;43;05;21 - 00;43;07;06

to rethink again, right.

00;43;07;06 - 00;43;10;14

To have these

these open minds were able to hear

00;43;10;14 - 00;43;13;19

what other people think about

different things and being sharpened,

00;43;13;23 - 00;43;16;23

sharpened

and and in the way that we're thinking. So

00;43;18;04 - 00;43;21;04

so for us, it looks like,

you know, as we're

00;43;21;15 - 00;43;25;23

is as we're creating courses

and Bible study, right.

00;43;25;23 - 00;43;29;29

So it's being together in community

to be able to

00;43;30;04 - 00;43;33;00

to learn from an expert,

but also to learn from each other.

00;43;33;00 - 00;43;34;27

And I think

00;43;34;27 - 00;43;35;12

it's right.

00;43;35;12 - 00;43;37;26

It's not just the information,

but it's how we process

00;43;37;26 - 00;43;39;27

that information together in community,

right?

00;43;39;27 - 00;43;41;23

Yeah, Yeah. Community.

Such an important part.

00;43;41;23 - 00;43;44;14

Um, yeah,

we said that here in our house too.

00;43;44;14 - 00;43;45;26

That's sort of why we exist. But

00;43;46;29 - 00;43;48;22

I think there's,

00;43;48;22 - 00;43;51;00

there's often a model out there

of like how education happens

00;43;51;00 - 00;43;54;11

that's very much

like individualistic. Yes.

00;43;54;27 - 00;43;59;05

Also in an Internet age, it's also like

not even about a mentor or a teacher.

00;43;59;05 - 00;44;01;15

It's just like I am

00;44;01;15 - 00;44;04;14

adopting, you know, sort of

grabbing information from the Internet

00;44;04;21 - 00;44;07;04

and then I am suddenly knowledgeable

about a certain thing.

00;44;07;04 - 00;44;11;06

So I think the community part,

I think that's also where

00;44;12;08 - 00;44;15;26

like some of the skills

that, you know, humility or curiosity

00;44;15;26 - 00;44;21;13

or even like basic I would be so bold

as to say, like part of being formed in

00;44;21;13 - 00;44;24;23

Likeness of Christ is like learning

how to listen first before speaking,

00;44;25;23 - 00;44;26;23

you know, things like that.

00;44;26;23 - 00;44;30;01

Those are only going to be learned in a

in a social setting.

00;44;30;01 - 00;44;33;01

Like you can't learn those if you're just

sitting at home reading a book

00;44;33;01 - 00;44;35;03

as much as reading books is awesome. Yeah.

00;44;36;02 - 00;44;36;10

Yeah.

00;44;36;10 - 00;44;38;11

Anyway, the community part really,

really hits for me too.

00;44;38;11 - 00;44;40;28

That that's education

doesn't really happen

00;44;40;28 - 00;44;43;20

in the full, full sense of the word

unless you're in community.

00;44;43;20 - 00;44;45;23

Because I think we're communal

beings, right?

00;44;45;23 - 00;44;49;16

I think there are all

our whole lives are lived in community,

00;44;49;16 - 00;44;52;25

whether it be community

with God or community with others.

00;44;52;25 - 00;44;53;04

Right.

00;44;53;04 - 00;44;57;00

And so, you know, I think that

there are people that we probably all know

00;44;57;00 - 00;45;00;02

who are very smart people.

00;45;00;20 - 00;45;00;29

Right.

00;45;00;29 - 00;45;03;26

And they have been formed in a certain way

with some information.

00;45;03;26 - 00;45;06;17

But but they're not fun to be around,

right?

00;45;06;17 - 00;45;07;01

They're not.

00;45;07;01 - 00;45;10;00

They're they're actually

they're smart people who are kind of dumb,

00;45;10;00 - 00;45;12;01

like not not in a not know mean way.

00;45;12;01 - 00;45;13;22

But just

00;45;13;22 - 00;45;17;26

information doesn't transform,

doesn't necessarily transform us.

00;45;18;15 - 00;45;21;15

And so so I think, you know,

00;45;22;02 - 00;45;25;01

my undergrad was in education,

middle school, math, education.

00;45;25;01 - 00;45;27;15

So I have a philosophy of education,

right.

00;45;27;15 - 00;45;30;15

Where it where knowledge is

just one piece of education.

00;45;30;15 - 00;45;30;29

Right. It's

00;45;32;01 - 00;45;33;19

there's so much, so much more involved.

00;45;33;19 - 00;45;34;19

Our feelings are involved

00;45;34;19 - 00;45;37;28

in education, our desire

and our is involved in education.

00;45;39;02 - 00;45;41;05

And so because I think we're whole beings.

00;45;41;05 - 00;45;42;14

And so I think, you know,

00;45;42;14 - 00;45;45;18

the intellectual part is a huge part

of who we are and important.

00;45;46;20 - 00;45;51;05

But sometimes I think it's hard

to divide out where the intellectual

00;45;51;05 - 00;45;54;04

ends, the life of the mind ends

and something else begins.

00;45;54;04 - 00;45;56;08

Yeah, well, let's go there.

00;45;56;08 - 00;46;01;28

I want to ask about

do you have a a theology of of education

00;46;01;28 - 00;46;07;03

or a philosophy of education in this

broader spiritual formation context?

00;46;07;03 - 00;46;09;08

Like, is there a way

you're thinking about it as a pastor?

00;46;09;08 - 00;46;10;25

Yeah.

00;46;10;25 - 00;46;12;28

That you're hoping

00;46;12;28 - 00;46;14;16

the people in your church sort of follow?

00;46;14;16 - 00;46;15;00

Yeah.

00;46;15;00 - 00;46;18;26

So I think that in the spiritual formation

world we call that the theory of change.

00;46;18;26 - 00;46;21;25

And so a lot of pastors have it,

you know, maybe have thought about that,

00;46;21;26 - 00;46;24;09

which was their theory of change.

How do people grow?

00;46;24;09 - 00;46;26;23

How do people change,

how people transform?

00;46;26;23 - 00;46;31;29

And I think this is and this alone

is probably why I'm in this field,

00;46;32;10 - 00;46;36;25

because I think that question

has excites me like I am.

00;46;37;01 - 00;46;39;16

I've always been curious about that.

How do I change,

00;46;39;16 - 00;46;42;08

how do I grow, how to other people change,

how other people grow?

00;46;44;11 - 00;46;46;27

And I

think but it's also haunted me, right?

00;46;46;27 - 00;46;51;01

And so when I think about different people

in my life personally that I've loved

00;46;51;01 - 00;46;52;07

and that have that

00;46;52;07 - 00;46;55;07

maybe I've been disappointed

in their lack of change or lack of growth

00;46;55;07 - 00;46;56;16

or you think about some of these

00;46;56;16 - 00;47;00;13

big public leaders,

these public moral failures and, you know,

00;47;00;18 - 00;47;03;12

you begin it's not just about the behavior

or the failure.

00;47;03;12 - 00;47;06;12

You begin

some of us begin to ask the question,

00;47;06;20 - 00;47;10;04

okay,

so if the Holy Spirit is real in our lives

00;47;10;18 - 00;47;13;17

and if are the the the the tell us

00;47;13;17 - 00;47;16;17

the end goal is for us to become more

and more like Christ.

00;47;16;20 - 00;47;18;24

Like what if it if change doesn't happen?

00;47;18;24 - 00;47;20;07

What does that mean?

00;47;20;07 - 00;47;23;13

Does it mean

that we're not walking with God?

00;47;23;13 - 00;47;27;11

How we thought we were is doesn't

mean that the Holy Spirit doesn't exist.

00;47;27;11 - 00;47;29;27

That this thing is all right. Like,

you can go dark on this.

00;47;29;27 - 00;47;32;21

But so I think that's in some ways

where it's haunted me.

00;47;32;21 - 00;47;33;06

And but

00;47;34;28 - 00;47;37;22

but I think this question is one

that many of us ask at one point

00;47;37;22 - 00;47;39;13

or another,

whether it be about our own lives

00;47;39;13 - 00;47;42;22

or not, the organizations or communities

that we're in. But

00;47;43;29 - 00;47;46;19

I think for me, it's kind of

maybe in the spiritual formation

00;47;46;19 - 00;47;49;08

world, there's kind of three big parts.

00;47;49;08 - 00;47;52;08

So there is that.

00;47;52;11 - 00;47;55;11

So there is the life of the mind,

the teaching,

00;47;55;19 - 00;47;58;19

What what books are we consuming,

what information,

00;47;58;29 - 00;48;02;06

what, you know,

scripture, podcasts are listening

00;48;02;07 - 00;48;07;04

to teachers that we're sitting under

that really shapes and forms us.

00;48;07;04 - 00;48;12;05

I mean, you can look at any,

any area of study and you realize that

00;48;12;05 - 00;48;13;01

who who

00;48;13;01 - 00;48;16;07

you're studying under what you're studying

really shapes who you're becoming.

00;48;17;04 - 00;48;19;15

Then there's this other part

maybe that I talk about.

00;48;19;15 - 00;48;20;28

I don't know what it's how I would say it.

00;48;20;28 - 00;48;22;20

Maybe just the idea practicing.

00;48;22;20 - 00;48;25;19

So these there's

these things traditionally prayer,

00;48;26;23 - 00;48;29;05

fasting, solitude, silence.

00;48;29;05 - 00;48;30;13

There's so, so, so many.

00;48;30;13 - 00;48;34;25

But basically it's the idea of how are we

embodying the things that we're learning.

00;48;34;25 - 00;48;37;25

How are we connecting with died

00;48;37;27 - 00;48;40;11

in kind of an interpersonal way.

00;48;40;11 - 00;48;41;20

And so I think that's another big piece.

00;48;41;20 - 00;48;43;10

And then the third is relationships.

00;48;43;10 - 00;48;46;10

And so this can include the people

that were with

00;48;47;19 - 00;48;50;08

our fam family of origin,

00;48;50;08 - 00;48;53;22

all these things kind of shape

our our inner beings as well.

00;48;53;22 - 00;48;57;22

And so I think inviting

we as Christians have the opportunity

00;48;57;22 - 00;48;59;12

to invite the Holy Spirit

00;48;59;12 - 00;49;02;21

who is the great transformer

into of those areas of our lives.

00;49;03;20 - 00;49;07;29

And I think God works in those areas

and we partner with him in that.

00;49;07;29 - 00;49;10;16

But he really does

the heavy lifting of that formation

00;49;11;28 - 00;49;13;29

and it's through those

00;49;13;29 - 00;49;17;22

avenues that that were changed

and transformed, educated, if you will.

00;49;17;22 - 00;49;20;22

But I also think it's super mysterious,

like there's so many depending

00;49;20;22 - 00;49;23;22

on who you read those,

they'll give you a different answers.

00;49;23;22 - 00;49;25;27

But you can

I do think there's a mystery to it.

00;49;25;27 - 00;49;28;26

And but at least

we can point to those factors.

00;49;28;26 - 00;49;30;29

And I think each of those are sort of the

00;49;30;29 - 00;49;33;03

the mind,

the practices, the relationships.

00;49;33;03 - 00;49;37;21

There'd be like different bodies

of knowledge, like the sociologist

00;49;37;21 - 00;49;39;14

versus philosophers

00;49;39;14 - 00;49;42;18

or those who sort of emphasize different

one of those based on sort of what what

00;49;42;25 - 00;49;43;22

lens you're looking through.

00;49;43;22 - 00;49;47;04

So it's just interesting thing

about like though

00;49;47;04 - 00;49;50;04

those categories break down

in some of the ways we talk about

00;49;50;11 - 00;49;53;07

the rest of the world

to not just spiritual formation.

00;49;53;07 - 00;49;55;29

And I think of even

and they obviously they all connect.

00;49;55;29 - 00;49;56;06

Right.

00;49;56;06 - 00;49;59;25

And that's probably the power of of that

I think of you know, one

00;50;00;05 - 00;50;03;05

thinker that's been influential for me

in thinking about this is

00;50;03;07 - 00;50;06;22

is Jamie Smith, who is sort of

you are what you love is his thing.

00;50;07;00 - 00;50;07;21

He talks about, you know,

00;50;07;21 - 00;50;10;13

everyday liturgies, things

that we do basically habits.

00;50;10;13 - 00;50;11;13

Yeah, but use it.

00;50;11;13 - 00;50;14;08

Calling them liturgy sort of makes

you think about them a little harder.

00;50;14;08 - 00;50;16;17

Like, oh, that,

that's more of like I'm putting more

00;50;17;21 - 00;50;18;19

value in something.

00;50;18;19 - 00;50;19;11

If it's a liturgy.

00;50;19;11 - 00;50;19;19

Yeah.

00;50;19;19 - 00;50;23;07

And, and how so much of a Christian life

isn't thinking

00;50;23;07 - 00;50;26;08

great thoughts about the Trinity

or something like that, but it is.

00;50;26;18 - 00;50;28;08

What are the things you're doing

every day? Yeah.

00;50;28;08 - 00;50;31;03

Who are you spending your time

worshiping in?

00;50;31;03 - 00;50;33;21

Sort of a general sense,

Who are you learning from?

00;50;33;21 - 00;50;35;07

Yeah,

00;50;35;07 - 00;50;38;21

and these come down to like, habits, like,

like just the unthinking things

00;50;38;21 - 00;50;39;06

you do everyday.

00;50;39;06 - 00;50;42;06

So you're in a world

that's much less about

00;50;42;15 - 00;50;44;13

the conscious mind and much more

00;50;44;13 - 00;50;47;14

about sort of how your body functions.

00;50;47;14 - 00;50;49;22

But of course

you can't separate those things. Right?

00;50;49;22 - 00;50;52;10

And it is interesting

because I do think our affections

00;50;52;10 - 00;50;55;13

and our desires drive

so much of our lives.

00;50;55;13 - 00;50;58;15

It actually, I think, drives

what we give our minds to as well.

00;50;58;15 - 00;51;00;12

So I think I think they go back and forth.

00;51;00;12 - 00;51;01;24

I think some people would say

00;51;01;24 - 00;51;05;04

your desires affect, you know, one thing

or your mind affects another.

00;51;05;04 - 00;51;08;26

I think it's it does seem like it's

all interconnected in a mysterious way.

00;51;08;26 - 00;51;12;21

But but sometimes those, like you said,

those liturgies give we pay

00;51;12;21 - 00;51;13;25

no attention to.

00;51;13;25 - 00;51;17;25

And it's, in fact, those things that are

shaping us more than anything else.

00;51;18;02 - 00;51;18;15

Right.

00;51;18;15 - 00;51;23;07

And and one of James's famous ones

is like looking at a football game

00;51;23;26 - 00;51;27;24

and comparing it to a worship service and

how like you do a lot of the same things.

00;51;29;01 - 00;51;30;23

You stand up, you cheer,

00;51;30;23 - 00;51;35;05

you all focus in on sort of the action

and you're in a community.

00;51;35;25 - 00;51;39;25

You get these like highs, emotional highs

and all that kind of stuff,

00;51;40;12 - 00;51;43;20

and yet we treat one of those as sort

of a throwaway entertainment thing.

00;51;43;20 - 00;51;46;09

And another one

is like a very serious encounter with God.

00;51;46;09 - 00;51;50;13

And I think one of the interesting things

that this whole conversation moves to

00;51;50;13 - 00;51;55;06

is understanding that both of those have

the potential to form you as profoundly.

00;51;55;07 - 00;51;57;02

Yeah, they might not.

00;51;57;02 - 00;52;00;08

I mean, it depends,

but that sort of reorients

00;52;00;08 - 00;52;03;24

a lot of of how you think about

what does it mean to live like Christ.

00;52;03;24 - 00;52;03;28

Right.

00;52;03;28 - 00;52;06;00

There's not like these parts of life

or you can just sort of check out

00;52;06;00 - 00;52;07;08

and say, well, that's just entertainment.

00;52;08;15 - 00;52;11;01

It's not really affecting me or something

like that.

00;52;11;01 - 00;52;14;01

It's a sense that like everything we do

00;52;14;24 - 00;52;17;05

is going to sort of

be coming into the system

00;52;17;05 - 00;52;21;16

and affecting who we are

and yeah, and and work on us

00;52;21;16 - 00;52;23;11

in that sort of that that question,

00;52;23;11 - 00;52;26;10

the core question of like,

what does it mean or how do people change?

00;52;26;10 - 00;52;29;09

I think a lot of how people change

isn't actually

00;52;31;01 - 00;52;31;19

well, it's

00;52;31;19 - 00;52;34;17

necessarily good how you change

and a lot of it is like these things

00;52;34;17 - 00;52;37;27

that aren't the conscious things

that that we decide we are now changing.

00;52;37;27 - 00;52;39;21

It's more acted on us.

00;52;39;21 - 00;52;41;03

So I think the right the challenge

00;52;41;03 - 00;52;44;02

then is to bring those unconscious things

to the conscious level.

00;52;44;02 - 00;52;46;08

And it takes a lot of energy

and it takes a lot of time,

00;52;46;08 - 00;52;48;11

a lot of intention,

and we're human beings.

00;52;48;11 - 00;52;50;29

You get tired

and so I think that's kind of the

00;52;50;29 - 00;52;53;17

the challenge of maybe

being a human being. Right.

00;52;53;17 - 00;52;54;08

And trying to change.

00;52;54;08 - 00;52;57;06

But I think in all those things, right,

it's like, what is the end goal?

00;52;57;06 - 00;52;58;04

Like who for?

00;52;58;04 - 00;53;01;29

For a person who doesn't

maybe doesn't have religious beliefs

00;53;01;29 - 00;53;06;06

and they are totally great with

becoming a fantastic Packers fan, right?

00;53;06;06 - 00;53;06;28

Like that.

00;53;06;28 - 00;53;08;14

And it's not a bad it's like a good right

00;53;08;14 - 00;53;10;19

to part of their community

and it's a part of their identity.

00;53;10;19 - 00;53;14;12

And so I think as maybe as Christ

followers, it's, you know,

00;53;14;21 - 00;53;18;14

where where is our eyes like

and like where we wanting and every,

00;53;18;14 - 00;53;21;06

you know, where we wanting to go

and is everything in our lives

00;53;21;06 - 00;53;23;25

moving us towards that

or moving us away from that?

00;53;23;25 - 00;53;26;12

And that is the big question.

00;53;26;12 - 00;53;31;07

Is there anything specific about Madison,

which is a pretty unique one?

00;53;31;07 - 00;53;33;15

It's not that unique,

but it's a it's a city.

00;53;33;15 - 00;53;36;12

It has a certain culture,

big university in town.

00;53;37;11 - 00;53;39;23

Does that context

00;53;39;23 - 00;53;43;13

at all shapes sort of how you think

about spiritual formation and education?

00;53;43;18 - 00;53;46;28

Yeah, I think that this is a city

00;53;46;28 - 00;53;49;28

who who, who values education.

00;53;50;04 - 00;53;52;25

We are a city who is, I think I read, is

00;53;52;25 - 00;53;55;26

one of the most educated cities

in America.

00;53;55;26 - 00;53;56;03

Right.

00;53;56;03 - 00;54;00;21

There's a significant portion of us

who have master's degrees or above.

00;54;00;21 - 00;54;02;18

I think it's per capita.

We're one of the highest in the US.

00;54;02;18 - 00;54;03;11

Yeah, right.

00;54;03;11 - 00;54;06;06

So we value the mind, we value education.

00;54;06;06 - 00;54;11;00

And so I think because that's who we are,

then we then we go towards that, right?

00;54;11;00 - 00;54;14;03

So we providing these opportunities

for growth,

00;54;14;03 - 00;54;17;16

these seminars with expert leaders,

with with expert thinkers,

00;54;18;15 - 00;54;22;27

having good conversation

dialogs around important topics.

00;54;23;04 - 00;54;24;24

I think

00;54;24;24 - 00;54;26;17

I think that's a that's an easy way to go.

00;54;26;17 - 00;54;30;23

I think I think some of the harder parts

to get out are some of those maybe

00;54;31;27 - 00;54;34;29

maybe rhythms, you

know, and kind of people's everyday lives

00;54;34;29 - 00;54;39;06

if they believe that that what they think

is, is what they become.

00;54;40;19 - 00;54;43;06

That can be tricky

because that is a part of it.

00;54;43;06 - 00;54;46;12

But it's not the force of being able

helping people to see

00;54;46;12 - 00;54;49;14

that there is more to themselves

than kind of being a brain on a stick.

00;54;50;13 - 00;54;53;05

And I think we know

that intellectually as a community.

00;54;53;05 - 00;54;57;22

But sometimes what we know

and what we live for different.

00;54;58;01 - 00;54;59;10

Right right.

00;54;59;10 - 00;55;03;11

In in in the ecosystem of

of the Christian world

00;55;03;11 - 00;55;07;07

of Christian education, churches

obviously play a really central role.

00;55;07;07 - 00;55;09;12

Most Christians

00;55;09;12 - 00;55;12;12

somehow encounter

a church more often than they would maybe

00;55;12;16 - 00;55;16;07

a Christian college

or K-through-12 school or campus ministry.

00;55;17;00 - 00;55;17;28

How do you see

00;55;19;27 - 00;55;21;01

I guess

there's two ways as a Christian. One,

00;55;21;01 - 00;55;23;12

how do you see the church in relation

to those?

00;55;23;12 - 00;55;26;06

Another way to ask it would be

what are you hoping

00;55;26;06 - 00;55;29;29

those parts of the ecosystem

do to set people up?

00;55;29;29 - 00;55;33;01

Well, to be in a church

and be formed properly?

00;55;33;01 - 00;55;35;29

Yeah, that's a church.

Yeah, that's a great question.

00;55;35;29 - 00;55;37;19

You know,

I do think that there's a lot of things

00;55;37;19 - 00;55;41;22

that pastors are trying to do in a church,

and so depending on your size,

00;55;41;22 - 00;55;43;22

you have more or less bandwidth

for different things.

00;55;43;22 - 00;55;49;02

And so I think one of the greatest gifts

that we have as pastors to a congregation

00;55;49;02 - 00;55;54;07

is to walk alongside people as they're

walking with God in their everyday lives.

00;55;54;07 - 00;55;58;00

And so, you know, I think it's great

when we have the opportunity

00;55;58;00 - 00;56;01;23

to do things like Sunday school

classes or seminars or these courses.

00;56;01;23 - 00;56;02;22

And that's very important.

00;56;02;22 - 00;56;06;16

And that is our responsibility,

I think, as a as a local church to be

00;56;07;17 - 00;56;09;02

say who who has guide

00;56;09;02 - 00;56;12;06

given us is a part of this local body

and what do they need to grow.

00;56;12;06 - 00;56;16;03

And I think we are

we are primarily responsible for for them.

00;56;17;00 - 00;56;19;07

And so I do think that that is a big part.

00;56;19;07 - 00;56;22;07

But I think about

00;56;22;08 - 00;56;24;13

I think about all these other entities,

right.

00;56;24;13 - 00;56;26;29

Because because education is one part.

00;56;26;29 - 00;56;32;15

But like sometimes me and my week

is walking with people who are grieving

00;56;32;15 - 00;56;37;19

the loss of somebody walking alongside

a woman who is being physically abused.

00;56;37;20 - 00;56;37;26

Right.

00;56;37;26 - 00;56;38;16

And how am I

00;56;38;16 - 00;56;41;27

how am I helping her to get the resources

she needs in order to walk with that?

00;56;42;04 - 00;56;46;24

It's people who are kind of

just feeling unmotivated, stuck,

00;56;47;02 - 00;56;49;27

dealing with mental health kind of

00;56;49;27 - 00;56;50;15

challenges.

00;56;50;15 - 00;56;54;12

And so that takes up a lot of life

as a as as a church, as a pastor.

00;56;54;12 - 00;56;59;00

And so what I really value

about all these other entities

00;56;59;00 - 00;57;03;12

is that they can focus on something

that maybe we can't always give

00;57;03;12 - 00;57;04;23

all of our attention to.

00;57;04;23 - 00;57;08;02

And so maybe when we're weak in some areas

00;57;08;25 - 00;57;13;15

that they can come in strong and provide

some of the most up to date research,

00;57;13;15 - 00;57;18;00

you know, like biblical scholars

at these universities, you know, can in

00;57;18;00 - 00;57;22;18

these seminaries can can stay abreast

of all of those things and can

00;57;22;26 - 00;57;27;24

and can help can help us as pastors

to to educate our our people, but

00;57;28;25 - 00;57;29;29

also can be contributing

00;57;29;29 - 00;57;32;29

to this greater this greater knowledge of

00;57;34;09 - 00;57;35;27

of different,

you know, kind of the variety of things.

00;57;35;27 - 00;57;37;22

And so

00;57;37;22 - 00;57;40;22

so I think that the church's particular

I think we have a mission,

00;57;41;12 - 00;57;45;09

a particular mission

to caring for our people and to to

00;57;45;25 - 00;57;48;14

to be on mission in a very particular

00;57;48;14 - 00;57;51;14

way, in a particular place. And

00;57;52;11 - 00;57;55;23

and and so sometimes things like,

00;57;56;11 - 00;57;59;12

you know, theology

one on one might not make it to the top

00;57;59;12 - 00;58;02;22

of our priority list, but we are glad that

there are other people

00;58;03;09 - 00;58;05;10

who do have that

at the top of their priority list

00;58;05;10 - 00;58;08;10

that we can point people to

and and draw on that wisdom.

00;58;08;19 - 00;58;11;24

And your your mention

of the seminary scholars,

00;58;12;27 - 00;58;15;13

it's probably

wondering, do do you think of

00;58;16;19 - 00;58;19;20

education differently when you're thinking

about pastors themselves?

00;58;19;20 - 00;58;23;16

So is there sort of a different regiment

or a different sense of of

00;58;24;18 - 00;58;28;24

of education for pastors as opposed to

for sort of the rest of us, the laypeople?

00;58;28;24 - 00;58;29;26

Well, it's a good question.

00;58;29;26 - 00;58;31;05

Maybe in theory.

00;58;31;05 - 00;58;34;13

I wish that I didn't, but perhaps I do.

00;58;35;09 - 00;58;37;21

You know, as I think about

00;58;37;21 - 00;58;41;00

that, the responsibilities of a pastor

00;58;41;00 - 00;58;44;00

and maybe the high bar of

00;58;44;07 - 00;58;48;08

of having this knowledge and being having

the responsibility of wielding it.

00;58;48;08 - 00;58;53;22

Well, I think that I very

I think that pastors should be educated.

00;58;53;22 - 00;58;55;27

I think that they should

00;58;55;27 - 00;58;57;14

on a lot of different things. Right.

00;58;57;14 - 00;59;01;15

Being able to to wisely step

into the lives of of people

00;59;01;15 - 00;59;05;00

who aren't thinking about this

all the time, who may not be super

00;59;05;00 - 00;59;08;09

interested learning about the Trinity

or learning about,

00;59;08;23 - 00;59;11;13

you know, it's like they don't care but

00;59;11;13 - 00;59;14;13

but how can but how can we as pastors

00;59;14;22 - 00;59;18;13

help them to see that intersects

with their daily lives?

00;59;18;13 - 00;59;21;25

And so so I get excited

when I when there are laypeople

00;59;21;25 - 00;59;25;03

who who want kind of the quality

of a seminary education

00;59;25;03 - 00;59;28;29

and through the local church

and I and I find those people

00;59;28;29 - 00;59;33;04

as as intellectual peers

and as and so I welcome that.

00;59;33;04 - 00;59;36;27

But but I do think that everybody doesn't

have to be that way.

00;59;36;29 - 00;59;40;29

Like, that's not everybody's gifts

or that's not everybody's focus.

00;59;40;29 - 00;59;41;14

And they're

00;59;41;14 - 00;59;44;20

they're focusing on other things

in the world that I have no idea about,

00;59;44;20 - 00;59;46;03

I've no education in.

00;59;46;03 - 00;59;50;07

And I'm guessing that they wouldn't

hold me to that same bar that they have.

00;59;50;07 - 00;59;55;15

But but I do think for pastors,

I, I think that we have big responsibility

00;59;55;15 - 00;59;57;26

and we need to be wielding that

responsibility.

00;59;57;26 - 00;59;59;05

Well, yeah.

00;59;59;05 - 01;00;00;07

Well, we'll end on this.

01;00;00;07 - 01;00;06;14

I wanted to know, you know,

what is one of the things

01;00;06;14 - 01;00;10;14

in the spiritual formation world

that sort of most on your mind these days.

01;00;10;14 - 01;00;13;24

So what's what's the what's the issue

01;00;13;24 - 01;00;19;22

or the most pressing problem

that you're confronting in your work?

01;00;19;27 - 01;00;20;14

Yeah.

01;00;20;14 - 01;00;23;00

Oh, there are,

there are several, but maybe one.

01;00;23;00 - 01;00;26;21

I would say that

I've been thinking about recently

01;00;26;21 - 01;00;30;21

and I think it's important and I don't

have a lot of answers for you on this, but

01;00;31;07 - 01;00;35;28

but it's the kind of the the intersection

of spiritual formation and technology.

01;00;36;11 - 01;00;39;05

I think that's super interesting.

01;00;39;05 - 01;00;42;07

I think that depending who you talk

to, you,

01;00;42;07 - 01;00;45;21

there's many people who are in my world

who would say technology.

01;00;45;21 - 01;00;50;25

And the way when they say technology,

they mean smartphone, social media, right?

01;00;50;25 - 01;00;53;28

Internet, digital, digital technologies.

01;00;53;28 - 01;00;55;20

What they would mean by that is right.

01;00;55;20 - 01;00;58;02

It's the great enemy of formation.

01;00;58;02 - 01;01;02;17

So you see many people in my in my world

to get rid of cell phones, right?

01;01;02;17 - 01;01;03;21

Like smartphones.

01;01;03;21 - 01;01;07;01

But they take the TV's out of their house,

which is like really great.

01;01;07;01 - 01;01;10;01

Like,

I would say that's totally an option.

01;01;10;08 - 01;01;13;02

But also I think that in order to

I don't know

01;01;13;02 - 01;01;14;20

if that's the only option, right?

01;01;14;20 - 01;01;16;03

So how are we formed?

01;01;16;03 - 01;01;19;01

How do those technologies

form us spiritually

01;01;20;16 - 01;01;22;05

as as the church?

01;01;22;05 - 01;01;24;03

How are we help asking

01;01;24;03 - 01;01;28;26

good questions to help our congregation

think about those things, but also maybe

01;01;28;26 - 01;01;32;14

even a more interesting one that

that may be is coming down the pipe fast.

01;01;32;15 - 01;01;33;21

Is I right?

01;01;33;21 - 01;01;37;06

So, like, what does it mean to be human

and how are these various

01;01;38;02 - 01;01;42;05

kind of modes of artificial intelligence

going to form a spiritual key?

01;01;42;06 - 01;01;45;06

I think that's a fascinating question.

01;01;45;13 - 01;01;47;13

Maybe a little bit scary,

but mostly fascinating

01;01;47;13 - 01;01;50;06

because I don't think

we have to be afraid. But

01;01;50;06 - 01;01;52;12

but I do think that

that's something I find interesting.

01;01;52;12 - 01;01;55;20

And if you come across the air

sermon generator.

01;01;55;26 - 01;01;57;06

Yes. Yes.

01;01;57;06 - 01;02;00;26

And so we were we

I started on the teaching team.

01;02;00;26 - 01;02;05;00

And so we've been playing around with it

of like, okay, write a sermon about such.

01;02;05;06 - 01;02;10;14

And actually it's like,

not bad, but, but it's not good.

01;02;10;21 - 01;02;11;22

Yeah, yeah.

01;02;11;22 - 01;02;15;25

So it's actually it's a good starting

point of some basic things.

01;02;15;25 - 01;02;19;13

And then what we realize,

oh, there's not a lot of emotion or Right,

01;02;19;21 - 01;02;21;16

right or so right.

01;02;21;16 - 01;02;24;06

Sort of middle of the road.

Yeah. Build the road. I guess that's.

01;02;25;08 - 01;02;27;22

I'm sure some busy, tired bastards are.

01;02;27;22 - 01;02;28;06

You think.

01;02;28;06 - 01;02;30;17

I'm sure. Yeah. Yeah.

01;02;30;17 - 01;02;32;15

That's a really interesting.

01;02;32;15 - 01;02;35;04

I think we've run into the question

of technology

01;02;35;04 - 01;02;38;11

in a few different conversations

in this series relate to education

01;02;38;11 - 01;02;42;25

because it's so important

to how education is being conducted now.

01;02;42;25 - 01;02;46;05

There's, you know, digital options

for all types of education.

01;02;46;13 - 01;02;49;09

There's the same questions

about smartphones and other things

01;02;49;09 - 01;02;53;05

and how does that shape attention span

and yeah, and learning styles.

01;02;54;03 - 01;02;57;10

And I think we're seeing the same

the same thing play out in the church

01;02;57;10 - 01;03;00;12

maybe in a slightly different way. Yeah.

01;03;00;19 - 01;03;02;19

And I think of yeah,

I mean, a lot of people

01;03;02;19 - 01;03;04;21

we've talked to have been in higher ed.

So there's a particular way

01;03;04;21 - 01;03;07;19

this is landing on college students,

you know, today.

01;03;07;19 - 01;03;09;16

Yeah, Well, thank you, Tiffany.

01;03;10;18 - 01;03;12;18

Thanks for

talking to us about spiritual formation.

01;03;12;18 - 01;03;16;03

I love talking about the conceptual

and getting some practical as well.

01;03;16;09 - 01;03;17;14

So thanks for your time. Yeah.

01;03;17;14 - 01;03;19;10

Thanks so much.

01;03;19;10 - 01;03;20;26

Thanks for joining us.

01;03;20;26 - 01;03;23;22

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01;03;23;22 - 01;03;26;21

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01;03;26;21 - 01;03;29;10

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01;03;29;10 - 01;03;32;10

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01;03;32;16 - 01;03;35;23

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01;03;36;20 - 01;03;39;20

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01;03;40;01 - 01;03;44;03

is produced at Upper House in Madison,

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01;03;44;03 - 01;03;48;03

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01;03;48;24 - 01;03;52;28

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