Building a Culture of Formation

Last Friday, Transform Minnesota hosted NAE President Dr. Walter Kim at our annual board retreat. Dr. Kim spoke to the Transform board and 50 invited church leaders about being faithful witnesses and contributing to cultural flourishing in a post-Christian era.

“Having a comprehensive Gospel in the head is not enough. What does it mean to form people?”

Dr. Kim began by conveying the need for a comprehensive Gospel that forms people and speaks fully to all of life. He also acknowledged that this formation will take time. “Discipleship requires long obedience in the same direction,” and remaining committed to the work will require a strategic campaign to build discipleship within communities.

Dr. Kim also encouraged the leaders to move their mentality from programs to ethos. This can be done by considering what culture they want to create, what relationships they want to foster, and what types of experiences they want to curate within their congregations. They can also begin to think more creatively and expansively about culture and the meaning of cultural flourishing when they look at Christianity and practice from the view of another culture.

The group was also able to hear from local leaders about the impact of culture changes in Minnesota. Rev. Richard Coleman of Wayman AME Church spoke to how these conversations are playing out in the arena of racial justice, while Kara Stromberg, Superintendent of the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, spoke to responding to culture change at a denominational level.

Throughout the day, the group had opportunities to flesh out the content through table discussions and Q&A with Dr. Kim.

“Thank you so much to Transform Minnesota: Carl Nelson, your leadership; the board, your courage; the staff, the hands and feet of Jesus that is being used of God at a historic time in the Twin Cities to bring the church of Jesus Christ together. And I think it’s historic because it’s the first time that we’re actually linking arms, not just to learn in knowledge and in truth, but in service and in the purposes of God for the changing culture that is ours in the greater Twin Cities.” – Joel Johnson, Senior Pastor, Westwood Community Church

September 14, 2023
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