Vocation & Formation
Education, discipleship, spiritual enrichment and leadership development involve us in the Holy Spirit’s work of forming the people of God for mission. The synod ministries relating to these areas are called "vocation and formation" ministries. They are some of the most important initiatives of the church.
What is formation?
Formation is more than education, which often just implies getting more information or knowledge. Formation is about God shaping us into the people we are called to be. It is a process that involves our whole person – mind, heart and body – as we are built up to be Christ’s body for mission in the world.
Spiritual and faith formation are about growing in discipleship. Next there is vocational formation: discerning what God would have us do, because each of us as children of God has a calling to be at work in the world. Still more specifically, we can talk about the professional formation of those who will serve and lead in public ministries.
There are also individual and communal dimensions to formation, because both individual persons and entire communities of faith are formed to do God’s work. Most importantly, formation is the work of the Holy Spirit that can be clearly seen as God’s people gather around the means of grace, then go out into the world to serve.
Read more in the formation issue of The Lutheran New Yorker, Fall/Winter 2009.