Faith Formation

(by Bjorn and Lilian Schmid)

Introduction

The Faith Formation Program is a 12-week personal daily walk with God, requiring only 10 to 15 minutes a day. You can choose this time early in the morning, or in the evening, or whenever and wherever you can set yourself apart to spend some minutes alone with God. You will spend this time in solitude and peace at the feet of Jesus (you and Him), to read a given scripture, sometimes with an exhortation, and meditate on it, but the most important part is to be attentive and LISTEN to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.

There is a daily journal to record everything you sensed, you heard, you received from the Holy Spirit. He may show you visions, words of knowledge, dreams, supernatural revelations, prophetic insights, and other things – you will record them daily in your journal. Sometimes you may receive nothing, but just record only what you felt as you went through the reading and meditated on it. Space is also given in each Journal for you to review each week of the Program and summarise what you learned over the week.

A mentor is assigned to each person going through the Program. As well as reviewing your journals when completed, they are available for you to consult with, pray with over particular challenges, and just encourage you in your walk with God during the Program.

Be assured that none of your your journals or other details, questions or comments will be revealed to anyone else without your permission. We do not keep copies of your journals – they are only reviewed by your mentor and returned back to you.

The Program

The Faith Formation Program is divided into three stages, each having a particular focus, and building on the previous stages – all must be completed in sequence to gain the greatest benefit. Each stage has it’s own journal for you to fill; at the end of each stage, you should submit your journal for review and feedback by your mentor.

Weeks 1-4 – Listening to God

“Because you are precious, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4)

The call to be united with God “An encounter with God” is included in the grace of Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The mystery of Christ is a mystery of love; through prayer we experience and the reading of the Bible we feel the love of Christ and His presence. When we pray, we allow the reality of God’s unconditional love to embrace us. God birthed us, He treasures us with infinite tenderness, He listens to us with infinite patience, and He reaches out to us in every moment of our existence.

This Program allows you to be closer to God and understand His ways. It will allow you to sit in silence with Him and be able to listen, to seek His voice, to be able to let the Holy Spirit to enter into your mind, body and soul.

The program also helps you to understand the ‘Feeling of God’; our feeling toward Him and toward others in prayer. We discover what has to be

  • Faced
  • Interpreted
  • Decided
  • Acted upon in the light of our identity in God

Sometimes we ask the question: is God real? How can we experience his presence? This experience will give us conviction to know God and be with Him face to face – it is US AND HIM. In our silence in prayer and in our daily time with Him we are coming to the reality of the existence of God.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws that person” (John 6:44)

Weeks 5-8 – The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit moves in the life of the believer to equip them in the service of God. Understanding the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is important, because we live in a supernatural world and the Gifts allow us to have an impact in this world. A Spiritual Gift is a particular ability given to individual Christians to accomplish a specific role or task within the ministry of the Body of Christ. 

“Now about spiritual gifts, I do not want you to be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 12:1)

The Gifts are gives to members of the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit for the purpose of edifying (lifting-up) the recipients and other people in the Body, and to strengthen (build-up) the whole Body.

Communication Gifts:
(Covered in Week 5) 
Exhortation, Prophecy, Teaching

Sign (Supernatural) Gifts: 
(Covered in Week 6)
Healing, Miracles, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues

Practical Gifts:
(Covered in Weeks 7-8)
Discerning of Spirits, Faith, Evangelism, Giving, Helps and Mercy, Hospitality, Intercession, Knowledge, Wisdom, Service, Voluntary Poverty

Leadership Gifts:
(Covered in Week 12 in ‘Christ-Like Leaders’)
Administration, Leadership, Missionary, Shepherd

Weeks 9-12 – Christ-Like Leaders

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

The starting point in describing the fully developed leader must be the call to Christ-likeness, or as some preferred to say, Christ-centeredness.

We have been called to run the race fixing our eyes on Jesus as the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). To be sure, there are some areas in which we cannot emulate Christ, such as in his role as intermediary between God and humanity, or in his pre-existence and perfect intimacy with the Father. Nevertheless, Jesus’ invitations to the disciples to “follow me” and to “learn from me” are a summons to us as well.

Our foundation for understanding leadership is the written word of God. As Christian leaders we must examine the Scriptures to see how Jesus led and what he taught about ministry. We need to pay attention to the word pictures Jesus used, and the stories he told, which shaped the values of the disciples as they began to understand their relationship to God, to one another and to the world into which Jesus was sending them.

As leaders we there is an ongoing need to spend sufficient time looking freshly at the Bible to discover wisdom for how to lead as Jesus led, and to spend a good proportion of our time together with other Christian leaders in reflection on God’s word and its application to our leadership task.

Leadership topics:

Defining Leadership (Week 9)

What is a Christ-Like Leader (Week 10)

How are Leaders Developed (Week 11)

Leadership Gifts (Week 12)

Program Morning Prayer

Based upon Ephesians 6:13-17:

Dear Lord, as I put on the full Armour of God, 
I know that when the day of evil comes, 
I will be able to stand my ground, 
and after I have done everything, 
I will stand. 
I will stand firm, with the belt of truth buckled around my waist, 
with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with my feet fitted with the readiness 
that comes from the gospel of peace. 
In addition to all this, 
I will take up the shield of faith, 
with which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
I take on the helmet of salvation 
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 
Lord Jesus, my friend and Lord. 
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that You are the Son of God, 
the only way to God, 
and that You died on the cross for my sins 
and rose from the dead. 
I submit myself to You as my Lord. 
I thank You today, tomorrow, and every day – for the rest of my life. 
Amen.

Bjorn and Lilian Schmid,
Prayer Strategists and Coordinators,
Prayer Strategy for the Sphere of Influence
prayerstrategy.org