The purpose of this project is to aid spiritual and identity development in high school students using small groups and spiritual disciplines at the Conejo Valley Church of Christ. Through small groups and spiritual disciplines, students will learn to develop spiritual habits and gain insight into how biblical characters can act as spiritual mentors in their lives. The congregation is located in Thousand Oaks, California, which offers top-rated schools and multiple extracurricular activities. These factors combine to give teens in the area tremendous opportunities for personal development. They also can lead to an over-programmed lifestyle where students feel overwhelmed with activity and ambition. For many, church involvement and intentional spiritual formation fall to a lower priority than other aspects of personal development.
This project is presented in three parts. Part One describes the ministry context of the Conejo Valley Church of Christ. It outlines the challenges presented by the opportunities available to adolescents and the over-programming many experience. Part Two highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the Churches of Christ heritage as it relates to this project. While the Churches of Christ heritage is useful in holding up Scripture as a solid pattern for the spiritual life, attention also will be given to the works of N. T. Wright and Dallas Willard as they inform the importance of the present Kingdom of God in calling adolescents to see themselves as participants in the grand story of God.
Part Three outlines the ministry strategy. Parents of teenagers will be trained as mentors and small group leaders. Teens who participate in small groups will develop spiritual habits of Scripture reading, meditation, and prayer with an eye toward understanding their identity and purpose as designed by God while seeing how specific biblical characters can serve as spiritual mentors in their lives.
Content Reader: Randy Rowland, DMin
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Williamson, Jack, "Using Biblical Narrative for Spiritual Formation in High School Students at the Conejo Valley Church" (2014). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 155.