Becoming like Jesus
We are all being formed into something. The question is not, are we being formed? The question is, what are we being formed into? When calling His disciples, Jesus called them to follow Him. In this call, He was offering them a life that would be transformed by the power of God. A life that would exemplify what humanity was originally intended for; to be God’s image bearers. For the disciples, following Jesus meant more than just thinking the right thoughts about Him. It meant adopting the lifestyle of Jesus to become more like Him.
Today, the call to follow Jesus remains the same for us. He calls us to become more like him through a lifelong process of adopting His Way of life and learning to love God and others as He did. This is called Spiritual Formation. Spiritual Formation into Christlikeness must be intentional. None of us will wake up one day and be all that God designed us to be. It takes intentional living. This is what Paul meant when he said, “train yourself for godliness.” Following Jesus is intentionally leaving behind our old habits and ways of life and putting on the habits and Way of Jesus by the power of God’s Spirit. It is no mistake that the early followers of Jesus were called followers of the Way.
Because we desire each person at Awaken Las Vegas to experience the life- transforming grace of God in their everyday lives through Spiritual Formation, we have created a Spiritual Formation Ecosystem. An ecosystem is a system comprised of integrated or essential parts that work together to fulfill a purpose. Built on the life and practices of Jesus, this Ecosystem expresses the different aspects of the Christian life that shape and form us into people of Christlikeness.
To grow in grace and enter a deeper Christlikeness, we must walk in the Way of Jesus. These practices help us walk out our faith; in other words, they help us live as Jesus did. The goal of these practices is not for us to develop an attitude of legalism that says, “look at me. I deserve the grace of God.” Instead, these practices are our way of learning to observe, obey, and imitate the Way of Jesus out of our abundant love for God and His people. These short summaries are designed to help you ask the Holy Spirit what areas He desires to grow you in. They are not meant to make you feel condemned, or that you are not measuring up, but to encourage you in the lifelong journey of following Jesus. They are designed to give you practical applications for your personal life. Before you start reading, we encourage you to spend a moment in prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the area He wants to grow you in.
Spiritual formation as an ecosystem
We have three goals with this Ecosystem.
- First, every person in our church would see this as a “roadmap” to Christlikeness. When we adopt these practices throughout our lifetime, the Holy Spirit begins to change us. We do not want to be people who only worship God at church on Sundays. We want to be people whose lives are fully characterized by our worship. Through these essential practices, every person in our church can begin their journey in intentionally following Jesus.
- Second, this Ecosystem serves as a foundation for all our ministry at Awaken Las Vegas. Each ministry at our church is built on shepherding people through different aspects of this Ecosystem. For example, Life Groups, Men’s and Women’s Bible Study, and other ministries play a vital role in creating opportunities for community, Bible study, and prayer. Sunday and Thursday Worship gatherings also create space for the intentional study of Scripture, community, prayer, and also worship, and generosity. When you engage with one of the ministries at Awaken Las Vegas, you will be given opportunities to grow in your faith through these different aspects of the Way of Jesus.
- Finally, we desire that our entire church would also reflect this formation. For example, we desire that we would be a church that is dedicated to prayer and creates intentional space for the Spirit of God to commune with us. We desire that the Word of God would guide our church in everything we do. We as a church are committing to the Way of Jesus as a lifestyle for the individual and the church.
What’s Next For Me?
So what’s next? We encourage everyone to be involved in our Sunday or Thursday Worship services to study God’s Word and worship together! If you are new to the faith or want a better understanding of Christianity, we highly encourage you to start with Awaken Basics, a community dedicated to understanding the foundations of the Christian faith. If you have been coming to our Sunday or Thursday Worship services but have yet to really find a deep Christian community, start with Life Groups or Men’s and Women’s Bible Study. If you have a specific community, you are searching for, please visit the ministry page to see all of the different ministries that take place at our church. And finally, if you are interested in the topic of Spiritual Formation and developing these aspects in your life, please check out our next Grow Class, which teaches each of these practices in detail. We pray that this Spiritual Formation Ecosystem intentionally gives you the encouragement and practices to become more like Jesus.