Formation in a Lutheran School
What does formation look like for a staff member in a Lutheran school? By that, I mean what does a spiritual-theological experience of formation looks like that helps shape a person's understanding of why we do what we do in a Lutheran school? Does a formation experience in a Lutheran school look like staff undertaking the official LEA Connect program? Is it about their induction into a new school setting? Or what about a staff member's engagement in a school's worship life, be that a chapel service or staff or class devotion? These situations can indeed be formational experiences for staff new to a Lutheran school, but they are not what I would argue is deep intentional formation.
A truly intentional formation experience for staff in a Lutheran school involves transformation. Transformation by the gospel as a person's heart is shaped by God. Formation in a Lutheran school is not just about being informed by the gospel, but it is being reformed and transformed, personally, professionally and vocationally.
Over the last year, I have undertaken postgraduate research into the formation of staff in Lutheran schools. Part of my human research involved a case study of a Lutheran school where I interviewed two teachers and the principal and pastor. In these interviews, one formation story of transformation stood out to me. This formation story involved a complete change of mindset for one of the teachers regarding their attitude to the weekly compulsory staff devotion. When this teacher first arrived at the school, they were frustrated that prime time at the start of the school day was used for staff devotions. However, gradually God broke through this person’s attitude and heart as they came to a change of mind. This teacher learnt to deeply value this time with fellow staff members listening to God's word, praying, reflecting and being still together before the rush of the school day.
Formation experiences in Lutheran schools like this one involve much more than information. They involve a transformation of the heart as people engage with the gospel and are changed by the Holy Spirit.
22/6/2021 09:52:18 pm
Hi Tim, what a great topic to meditate and muse on. Being connected with a Lutheran College where staff do come and go, I wonder how much of an impact our staff devotions and chapel have on staff being transformed by the gospel. I do remember though at one prestart devotion, it was nearly a testimony of a staff member how they valued devotion time, praying for students and families and the chapel time. Did that transform into a personal relationship with Jesus for that person? I don't know. I can only pray the Holy Spirit is still working to transform.
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About this site
"Meditations & Musings" is my humble attempt to share what I have found useful in ministry in an Australian Lutheran School setting. It contains chapels, devotions and other resources I have written, used and adapted in my K-12 school context. If you would like to also share your ideas, resources or start a conversation about mission and ministry in your church- school location, feel free to contact me.
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