The FORMED Project

Practices to Become More Like Jesus


 

The FORMED Project is an ongoing way to encourage and equip Redemption Tempe to participate in Christian practices in order to be intentionally formed more into the image of Jesus.

Have you ever thought about the ways you are being formed? Whether we realize it or not, we are all being formed by powerful daily habits. If we are not intentional, the habits of our culture will form us more than the ways of Jesus, and we will be formed into images of other things instead of the image of Jesus. Rather than being unintentionally shaped by our environment, we want to be intentionally formed by the Holy Spirit through Christian practices in our lives. 

Many people are familiar with reading the Bible and prayer, but it can be difficult to make these practices become intentional rhythms of our lives. There is a wealth of different ways to connect with and experience God. During The FORMED Project, we will be applying these ways so we can encounter God, and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Resources for The FORMED Project available for sale in the lobby on Sundays:

  • Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us by Adele Calhoun ($20)
  • The FORMED Project Journal ($10)

Watch monthly videos for The FORMED Project:

 


“Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” -1 Timothy 4:7-8

September Practice:

Hospitality/Feasting

 

What is Hospitality?

Hospitality is intentionally making room to give of yourself and receive the other. Throughout history, hospitality has always been an essential Christian practice for the people of God, and virtually every example of hospitality throughout the Biblical Story includes a shared meal. So as we practice hospitality this month, we will be intentionally sharing meals with others.

Why Do We Practice It?

As followers of Jesus, we want our lives to be patterned after the life of Christ. Luke 7:34 says “The Son of Man came eating and drinking.” Jesus literally eats his way through the Gospels, but he doesn’t eat alone. What we see in the kingdom ministry of Jesus is that he eats with all kinds of people, and much of the Gospels highlight his meals with people who do not know him or believe in him. Many of his meals are with the marginalized and overlooked in society. 

As we practice hospitality around the table, we want to be intentional about who we are feasting with. As a church, we are really good about eating with other Christians and we pursue them with intentionality. But this month, we want to be intentional with the people in our lives who don’t yet know Jesus. As we do this, we get to extend the hospitality of God to people who don’t yet know him.

How Do We Practice It?

Movement 1. Take time for reflective prayer and ask God who is in your life that He wants you to invite for a meal? Who comes to mind? Who in your life does not know Jesus? Who is overlooked in your life? Who is someone different than you ethnically, politically, across the age spectrum, or socio-economic class? 

Movement 2. Invite this person to share a meal with you. I know this can be a big step for some people and might even be scary. That’s okay. (It can be a co-worker, neighbor, etc.)  Intentionally pray for this person before you eat together, and pray that the Spirit of God works and enables you to know them, open up conversation, and listen well.

Movement 3. Share a meal. The goal of this is not an evangelism strategy, or a means to an end for evangelism. This is not a bait and switch. The goal is to love your neighbor by extending the hospitality of God to them. Good hospitality includes listening, and listening requires asking good questions. The goal of feasting is to truly get to know the other person, to share your life with them, and receive them as they are. It provides an opportunity to learn about their hopes, fears, hurts, and cares. (Below is a list of some helpful questions to ask as you share a meal with someone.)

Movement 4. After you feast with them and learn more about them, begin praying for them with your community. Pray that God intervenes in their lives in whatever is going on. Everyone sins and is sinned against, and life is difficult. Many people we feast with will be experiencing pain. Pray on their behalf to God. Do we expect God to show up and heal, restore, reconcile, and even bring salvation? Spend time praying for them.

Conversation Topics

Helpful questions you can ask while you share a meal with someone (choose 1 question):

  • What do you think the world should be like?
  • What do you think your purpose in life is?

 

  • Where do you see evil, hurt, or pain in the world?
  • What do you feel your biggest problem in life is?

 

  • Who or what do you think will make life better?
  • What provides you with a sense of escape or freedom?

 

  • What does life going right (correct) look like?
  • What does utopia look like to you? (Utopia is their heaven)
More Resources

Family Activities

Kids in Pre-K through 4th Grade:

Invite someone who lives on your street or in your apartment complex over for a meal or snack.

Kids in 5th and 6th Grade:

Have your children invite over a friend from school or the neighborhood who does not know Jesus, or invite over the entire family of their friend. Have your children help prepare the meal, serve the meal, and clean up after the meal. After the meal, have your child help lead a group game for your guests.

 

Further Reading

Further reading for a deeper dive into understanding and practicing hospitality:

The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield

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