Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Forum

I'm getting pretty stoked about some elements of spiritual formation that we're going to be experimenting with this Fall at Calvary Temple. One of these is The Forum, and it is for men.

A number of things have helped facilitate my personal transformation.

Three of them are:
  • Being in a context of a cluster of friends having un-edited conversations about life, relationships and God.
  • Being a part of a road trip or some other kind of journey experience where we got out of town and just spent time together... Something happens when you leave the familiar surroundings... You often become more sensitive to the Heart, Voice and Presence of God.
  • Being in an environment where there is thought provoking dialogue.
The Forum is an environment that (hopefully-successfully) will encompass all of these three elements, plus frequent doses of fun.

What is it? I have a pictures of what it is in my head. I have a deep sense at the core of my being what it feels like, but I'm still struggling to find the words to portray it... It's a small group of guys connecting, but it's not a small group... It's an on-line life-on-life conversation, but it's not just a blog. It's a dialogue of a book it's not a book study. It's a weekend away, but it's not a retreat. All of these are components of what The Forum is, not to mention illegal amounts of fun. Let me try to break down some of the elements that make up The Forum.

We will meet together Face-to-Face twice during the 9-Weeks. Wednesday August 29th at 7:00pm in the South Gate Cafe & Saturday morning, October 6th.

On-going Conversation
In between our times together we will be conversing through the internet via a private blog. Some of us process information better - after the fact - even alone. For many, it is easier to put thoughts on the screen to be read, rather than in the air space to be heard. This is where the Online Conversation comes into play. Throughout the weeks of meeting together, we will interact with the ideas and concepts presented in the book, as well as other things that emerge during the conversation...

Book Dialogue
The ongoing conversation will spring from the book Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell.

Weekend Away
We will finish up the conversation over a weekend away in Kalamazoo, Michigan (Friday October 26 to Sunday morning October 28). While away, we will carry on the conversation, have loads of fun, have some more fun, not to mention spend a full evening rock climbing at Climb Kalamazoo, Southwest Michigan’s premiere indoor facility.


Christopher C. Hooton said...

I enjoyed your blog. I hope you have a great success with your spiritual formation experiments this fall. Hearing about your successes will be a great encouragement to me as I dream. I look forward to interacting with you in class!

Jerrell Jobe said...

Thanks Chris... As I said, I'm pretty excited. I've (we've - our church) has never tried anything like this as a means of spiritual formation. We typically think "classes - in a room with a talking-head," or a traditional "small group" or something else. These are all good and have a place, but as Mulholland points out in "Invitation to a Journey: a road map for spiritual formation," we are all geared differently, and there are many people that these other venues don't appeal to, or they don't have time, or something. So, we're gonna give it a shot... what if we could create other environments that could appeal to other senses other than auditory and engage other forms of interaction, connection and engagement...?

I'll keep you posted...