Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MissioLife

It is challenging for church leaders to equip people to progress in spiritual formation. MissioLife was created for that purpose, to guide adults, youth and children to engage Scripture, moving from understanding to participation in the mission of God. Missio is Latin for “mission,” the sending by God.
The creators of the program have developed a theological framework for spiritual formation having two aspects: relational and content. The program is not only about content but also the way of helping in spiritual formation.
The model begins with the story of God. The Bible. Participants understand God through the many narratives in the Bible.
Engaging the story helps participants begin to build a framework of theology, a worldview. We begin to understand God in the context of our own lives, the world, and others.
Engaging the story also lays the groundwork for our living out that theology. This informs our identity and calling, our role in the world, and our being used of God.
This then forms our way of life, our behaviors and expressions.
The program uses age appropriate material for each age group. All generations, adults, youth and children, share in the formation experience. It can be used in a small group or throughout the entire church. One six week module can be used or an entire year or the complete four year program.
The resources are digital and the lessons are easily accessed and downloaded from the website, http://missiolife.com. Each lesson has a three page commentary on the Scripture passage, a two page facilitator's guide, and a one page participant's handout. A typical adult session includes reading the Bible passage, commentary, questions for discussion (centered on God's story, our story, others' story, and the world's story). The session ends with corporate prayer and suggestions for weekly practice. Participants are encouraged to read additional Bible passages and journal reflections.
You can go to http://missiolife.com to watch videos, download sample lessons for each of the age groups and promotional materials. The prices are also listed there.

Since spiritual formation includes development of theology, I think it is important to know the theological “bent” of the developers of the program, MissioLife. I found nothing in the preview kit nor at their website that included a statement of belief or anything like that. The sample lessons I was able to view did not reveal the developers' theology. The “publisher” of this material if Beacon Hill which is the book publishing arm of the Nazarene Publishing House.
I can only conclude that the theological bent of the material would be Wesleyn. For those of use who are Calvinist in theological bent, this may be troubling. I would feel more comfortable recommending this program if I could be assured of the theological foundation it promotes. There is just not enough information in the preview kit or on their website to determine that.


I received a preview kit of this program from The B&B Media Group for the purpose of this review.
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