Faith Formation At Hope

What Is Faith Formation?

Hope's Faith Formation Ministry, our approach to Christian Education, serves all ages and involves four important areas of learning and maturing in our faith.

Matthew 28:19-20  
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.

What is a Disciple?

  • A disciple is a follower of Christ.  It is more than simply knowing or doing.  It is building a devoted and healthy relationship with our Lord and Savior.


Then what is “Faith Formation?”

  • Faith-formation is the life-long process of making ourselves and others into disciples.


What do we work on in Faith Formation?

  • We develop four areas of our lives: wider knowledge, discipleship habits, maturity in our walk and healthy relationships with Christ and others.  Faith formation is applicable to our entire lives.


Why can’t I do Faith Formation on my own?

  • Thousands of years and hundreds of studies have shown that we learn best when we learn together.  We share ideas.  We support and encourage each other - in relationship

Is this really necessary for Hope Community Church?

  • Faith formation is a core responsibility of the church.  A congregation is not truly healthy without an active and engaged discipleship and faith formation ministry.


What is a typical Faith Formation session like?

  • A session will often, but not always, begin in a larger assembly setting, break into smaller discussion groups, then perhaps reform as a larger body for review and conclusion. Many sessions include video or music, and all are designed to be engaging - as well as some combinations of fun,challenging and serious


Why 75minutes?

  • Most Sunday Schools only meet for 35-45 minutes. It takes more than 35-45 minutes to really explore learning as well as consider how God is acting in our lives, and who we are called to be as individual Christians and as a community of faith.  It takes time to think over our own personal situation and commitments, and to nurture each other in our discipleship.  It also takes time to enjoy each other’s company, to pause for thought and refreshment, and to return and share our thoughts and conclusions with each other. 

Faith Formation for Adults, Youth and Children - Sundays 11am-12:15pm

Since Faith Formation is never "done" we encourage all ages to be engaged.

Each age group has dedicated topics and curriculum, though we occasionally gather together for a multi-generational topic of exploration.

Wednesday Night Studies with Pastor Scott - 7pm
(except Lent and Holy Week)

Pastor Scott leads studies on various topics of interest to adults and high-school youth.
Here's a partial list of some of the topics over the last couple of years:

"See Through the Scriptures" (copyright Crossways International)
An end-to-end exploration of the big story and and themes of the Bible.

MMLJ (Matthew Mark Luke John) - 4 Guys, 4 Gospels
A comparison exploration of the four gospels - their major themes, similarities, differences, audiences, etc.

"The Palestine Problem"
A Naively Short Introduction and Discussion.  Why is this one little country, and the area around it, so contentious?  What has happened?  What is happening?  Who are the players?  Why Everything?

Theodicy and "Why is there Evil?"
Please join Pastor Scott for an exploration into the this ancient question that doesn't have any answers that we really like.   Why is there evil?  Why do bad things happen (to anyone, good or not).  If God is good, and all powerful, why did God create or allow evil?   What are different ways that we understand evil?  How have people answered these questions in the past?

Presentation and discussion of classic and modern theology and philosophy.


Luther and the Reformation
The Who, What, Where, When and Why of the reformation.  Drama!  Humor!  Tragedy! History! Yes, it's all there, 500 years ago, and part of the foundation to who we are now.


Personality Types and Prayer
You might find that certain types and styles of prayer are better suited to better suited to your personality than others.  Various prayer forms and styles explored include stillness, moving, visual, journaling, centering, repetition, etc.


Angels in the Bible
What does the Bible say about Angels?  What kinds are there, what do the do/not do, know/not know, what powers do they have, can they sin, etc.

The Psalms
Prayer poetry to God, written to be sung in worship beginning in the ancient days of David and continuing to our present day.  Our exploration includes the many different kinds and themes of Psalms, common characteristics, Psalms for many emotions and situations, etc.

The Book of Revelation
A book of prophesy, a book of hope, a book of promise. A book with many interpretations.
We'll explore what it says, and many of the different ways it is understood. 
We'll also say right here that we don't claim that there is only one correct interpretation - but that there is great truth, and it is a great book, that we need to know.

World Religions
An exploration of wide variety of world religious traditions, including how they are similar to and different than our own, and how our faith in the great gospel message of Christ gives us a hope and promise that truly changes lives.

Group Prayer and Spiritual Direction

When and how do you hear that still, quiet voice of God?  Come explore different ways deepening our spiritual life, “keeping silence” and giving ourselves the chance to focus on God.  Many different private prayer practices will be explored  such as Psalms, cloister walking, icons, journaling, icons, Ignatian Meditation, etc.  Discover which might work best for you.

Share the discovery of God - what God is doing, how God is calling, where God is challenging.  Or, ever, perhaps that sense of God's absence.  The loneliness of not hearing, the yearning to feel the presence.  We walk through all this together.