Deepening Faith

By Pastor Mindy Roll – Campus Pastor for Treehouse, the Lutheran Campus Ministry (ELCA) at Texas A&M and the Blinn Colleges

—For all those longing for a deeper faith, or just feeling “stuck,” or even just wanting to build deeper friendships – check out this new 8-week small group study.

As our synod began a process of intentional listening related to our strategic plan, one conversation haunted me. I had had it many times, with many folks, in many churches, but this time, the response startled me.

When asked to identify a period or moment or group that had deepened each person’s faith, one woman gave me a steady look. What do you mean? she finally asked. 

It could be anything, I responded – a Bible study, or women’s group, or retreat, or the weekly experience of worship – anything that has challenged or deepened or grown your faith over the years.

I don’t understand your question, she responded. I’ve served on Council nearly my whole adult life, but I’ve never had an experience where I felt like my faith was deepened. 

Her response, and many like it, was a wake-up call for those on our team. We began to grapple with the question – what does it mean to deepen faith? What does it mean to have a maturing faith? What does it look like for faith to be nuanced and complex, while also prayerful and sustaining? Lutherans are good about teaching faith to children, but what next?

Is deepening faith not a lifelong process? And if not, why on earth not?

All the leading research tells us that faith grows best in small communities built on trust, sharing, and feeling known. As we began to explore a small group process that might work in our churches, Deepening Faith was born.

The process is fairly simple – over eight weeks, each participant is invited to hear the stories of each member in the group. The participant’s book serves as a guide for learning how to listen and share. After the first eight weeks, groups choose which direction they want to go next (for example, Prayer & Spirituality, Theology & Study, The Language of Faith, Service & Justice, Faith in the Home, etc.). Our team is working to develop curriculum in each of these areas, as well as others that may come from your feedback.

So, if you find yourself longing for a deeper faith, or just feeling “stuck,” or even just wanting to build deeper friendships, gather a small group and get sharing! We’re eager to grow alongside you.

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