1. Bringing Together Seminaries and Pastors
Europeans have learned to work together across language barriers in government, business, education and the arts. But the churches have been slow to join Europe’s new togetherness. Missionaries, i.e. cross-cultural specialists, can help with that. More than anything else we need to start working together to foster renewal in our churches through a greater appreciation for spiritual formation. Our institute, Sanctus, aims to reach out to seminaries and pastors who have some knowledge or even just interest and bring them together for mutual encouragement. Somehow the wisdom of the past about how to “present everyone mature in Christ” must be brought to Europe in the present. At the moment there is nothing that would even rival such a community.
2. Writing and Research on Theology and Formation
Dallas Willard reminds us that spiritual formation will do us no good if we think of it as doing the same thing as always but really meaning it this time. This can only be hindered by applying our minds to a serious study of the matter – not just to the theory but also what is really happening in the churches.
Trained as a theologian, I am concern about how our thoughts of God influence our preaching which influences whether people grow in Christ or not. Through teaching and writing I would like to publish what I’ve learned about theology and spiritual formation.
But I hope that the work I do with Sanctus would only be the beginning of writing and research in Europe on these very important topics. I would know we had something if Asia and America were asking for translations of the books Europeans were writing on these topics.
3. Walking Alongside Congregations
Let’s say you want to be a church which does a better job of spiritual formation. Where do you go? Our intent with Sanctus is to be worthy consultants for churches who want to change who they are so as to let spiritual formation in Christ be as natural as the weekly worship service. We envision six-month to year-long relationships with individual churches, looking at all aspects of what they do. And then we’ll explore and engage in good, new practices for the future. Because really, if “presenting everyone mature in Christ” doesn’t happen in the local churches, where is it going to happen?
If your group is ready, get in touch and we’ll start talking.
The Sanctus institute does not exist yet as an official non-profit in Europe, though its website does. But Katharina and Michael Stewart Robb are official partners with Alongside Ministries International and you can already give generously and responsibly to this project through them.
This is significant.