From Research to Resource
Back in 2015, when we first created the work that has become the Fuller Center for Spiritual Formation, there were just two of us and the equivalent of a napkin sketch of what would become Fuller Formation Groups. I had just finished five years of research on spiritual formation and human flourishing and I was bothered.
On one hand, I had found some amazing examples of how God was powerfully sustaining some of his faithful disciples as they labored in very difficult environments. On the other hand, everywhere I looked I saw a church experiencing a profound crisis in adult discipleship.
Sunday schools, sermons, and singing were proving to be insufficient by themselves to form God’s people to take their place in God’s mission in the world. Even when well attended, most churches were having a hard time making space for what my research showed to be the most effective patterns of discipleship.
I have always been more of a practitioner than a theorist, so I was compelled to work with my team to translate the research into a resource that would useful for the church—a solution that empowered Christian leaders and pastors to meet the relational and formative needs of their people.
So, we created Fuller Formation Groups and tried to stay open to what God might do.
A Shared Calling
What has happened has far exceeded our greatest hope! We’ve seen more than 1,500 people experience Formation Groups across dozens of communities, and the pace is getting faster each year. Supported by Fuller Theological Seminary, our center is now adding amazing people and resources beyond Formation Groups.
The spiritual formation of Christians is not only possible in our time—it is essential.
And our whole team believes that vision is worthy of our lives. We’re here to help you meet this challenge in your community by empowering you to grow and send everyone.
There may be a crisis in adult discipleship in the Christian church, but God is faithful and everywhere we look we see people who are prompted by his Spirit and longing to grow into the maturity of Christ. Let’s journey and seek his face together!
Executive Director of the Fuller Center for Spiritual Formation