FORM-what it is and why you should do it.

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Two years ago Ben and I, along with a team of people who feel passionate about equipping people around us to live out their calling, began a 9 month course called FORM in hopes that a sacred, three hour, weekly space might give people out there enough support and vision to move forward in places they have felt immobilized for years.

We didn’t know what to expect our first year, we just knew we needed to do something. It almost sounded silly. An equipping course to live spiritually? Don’t we have churches, like everywhere? Don’t we have an assaulting amount of unlimited data on the internet telling us everything we need to know and do?  Yes to both. But never before have we been so lost in the midst of too much information. The first year we started FORM we had 30 students. 30 students who wanted desperately for Jesus to move in their lives. Over the course of the year we saw transformation take place in each person. Healthy relationships began to grow in their lives. The words of Jesus on paper began entering peoples hearts and changing the daily decisions they  were making. People who felt isolated and alone for so long now had a community of support around them. People who thought they had nothing to offer started to recognize ways in which they were uniquely gifted and began utilizing their skills. One by one, we watched Jesus do the things he does best. Redeem, restore, empower, and make new.

*Form creates the space to do the work of building healthy relationships.

Ben has been a teacher for 11 years, and together we have led college students for the last 6 years. We’ve had enough experience with the next generation to know confidently many coming after us (as well as those who are well ahead of us) are painfully disconnected relationally. Vulnerability, empathy, and safe places for people to be heard, known, and carried are altogether uncommon. Many who experience hurt and pain disconnect and set up walls that perpetuate isolation. Healthy conflict resolution that strengthens and deepens relationships is a foreign language we have never been taught. And yet jesus says  we are a BODY. That we actually come alive when we are together- when we are known, seen, heard, and carried. No wonder we find our souls shriveled and limping along. Barely surviving. Waiting for another well crafted sermon…we limp in between the moments we are inspired.

*FORM teaches you how to implant the words of Jesus in your life so they take root.

What’s tragic is that we have more theologians and intellect out there about the things of God then we know what to do with. Its enough to cause our heads to explode with truths  we have yet to encapsulate and let spring out of our lives like true living water. How many more messages do we need to hear? What about people who lived radically and had massive kingdom breakthrough and all they had from the bible was 1 page?!! How much more do we need?  What we need is for the little we do know to settle so deep within our souls that it takes root and produces fruit- fruit that changes us and those around us.

*FORM gives people a taste of the way Jesus works through the support of community and discipleship.

I find it compelling that Jesus changed the world with just a few people. He didn’t even have social media. Or money. He leveraged his relational ability to influence others. Real relationships. What a rare and precious thing these days. Real relationships in which people talk about real things that matter. Relationships that foster honesty, support, and sincere, abundant love, and acceptance. -And it went viral. Jesus influenced people relationally. You guys, these people didn’t have the new testament yet! They for sure didn’t have printed bibles in their homes with their favorite pen and moleskine. Jesus’ promise of salvation -free to all through the cross.-where everyone is accepted, forgiven, empowered, and set free, caught fire relationally through extended families where people were no longer alone and the power of his Holy Spirit flowed freely through networks of households. They communally proclaimed the word of God together and it took deep root within them.

*FORM equips you to take hold of the talents and resources you’ve been given and leverage them in creative ways to reach the world.

We don’t recognize how unique and gifted we are. Somehow our identity got lost in all the celebrity and curated-ness we see around us. Jesus has much to say about that. He has things for us to do, that we are uniquely wired to do. In so much that we will be addicted to an array of poor habits and bored out of our minds until we are awakened to our role in the Kingdom of God. Are we not bored? When will we have a big enough house, and just the right car, and everything in place, and all the right things, and all the right vacations, and all the right money? People, we are addicted! We, the 1% of the world, who have more than the other 99% could ever dream,  are not happy. Something is not right. We need to wake up and live out or calling!

I think some of us look at the life of Jesus and think we could never live that radically. But you guys, all Jesus is asking you to do, is to take one small step forward. And i feel like  he says (with an impish grin), “Just watch. Test me, Watch what I can do“. When you give him your fish and loaves he takes it and makes it enough- and he feeds the thousands. We have limited him for too long.  I stand, little me, next to my great Jesus, and tell you its true. I’ve seen it play over and over in my life. Test him. Just one step. I dare you. He moves mountains. You don’t need to have “what it takes”-in fact, if you don’t, that’s the perfect place to be. You just have to take one small step and believe.

You aren’t alone. You are loved beyond what you could ever dream. You’ve been granted everything you will ever need. All of the Kingdom is yours for the taking. Jesus is giving you everything He has. Stand up and shake the dust off your feet. He has much to say to you. He wants to deliver you. There is work to be done. Dreams to be had. Start practicing. He wants you to start swinging for the fence.

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apply for FORM. Ages 20 and up.

http://www.gatheringnetwork.org/

 

 

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