From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Taiwan Church Promotes Spiritual Formation

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Tue, 19 Aug 2003 11:39:28 -0700

Taiwan Church News 2681, July 14-20, 2003
Reported by Li Yi-shin, Translated and rewritten by David Alexander

    The Spiritual Formation task force of the Research and Development Center
of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan held a forum in mid-July to train
directors in Spiritual Formation.  Dr. John McCall, the director of Spiritual
Formation at Taiwan Theological College in Taipei, said that "Spiritual
Formation uses various methods to draw people to God. He asserts the need for
training in each method, none of which are picked up casually. "Spiritual
Formation needs understanding, practice and training if one is to discern the
voice of the Holy Spirit."
    The task force encourages participation in routine church life
including weekly worship and occasional short-term mission projects, as part
of formation.
    Dr. McCall presented some thoughts on prayer.  He categorized a few types
of praying including: supplication, intercession, and adoration.  He
that churches focus on one particular sort of prayer at a time, perhaps
different prayer meetings.  In this way church members can expereience
purposeful prayer free of distractions, making it more possible to hear the
clear leading of the Holy Spirit.
    The Rev. Peng Ter-kuei, another task force member, said that it is common
for Christians to call on God regarding their needs, but not so common to
time to listen to God.	Training in prayer is not about speaking but about
to listen.  He said that the main point of spiritual renewal is to become
godlike by moving closer to God.  Confident in receiving direction from the
Holy Spirit, persons who receive prayer training learn to discern God's
commandments and to amend their lives to conform to God's will.
    The Rev. Chia Hi-beng (Andrew Hsieh) spoke of two bases of Spiritual
Formation: worship and prayer.	He said that worship is testimony to the
Lord who transforms lives.  The difference between the "before and after" of
transformed life is clear.  He calls the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan to
renewal of worship, both in its meaning and its form.  Worship is the key
place for Spiritual renewal.
    Prayer, according to Rev. Chia, is both motivated BY God and serves as a
bridge TO God.	The praying person finds spiritual renewal as God enters into
human life and redirects lives.  A renewed and redirected life enables a
person to live out the Christ within.

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