(Editor's note: Dieter Zander is interviewed, along with Dallas Willard, in the summer 2005 issue of Leadership. The church Zander serves reaches many pre- and new Christians. This is one example of the language they use to communicate what it means to have a deeper relationship with Christ.)
There was a time when everyone knew what the word discipleship meant—studying the Bible, praying, and learning the doctrines of Christian faith. But the church's understanding and language of discipleship are changing. Today we are hearing the new language of "spiritual formation" everywhere. But this new language can cause confusion. What is spiritual formation, and how do we do it?
As I have investigated these things, I've discovered that spiritual formation isn't as new and mysterious as I had thought. In fact, there are examples of formation everywhere we look, and many simple ways of understanding how spiritual formation takes place. Dallas Willard has compared the process of spiritual formation ...1