Monday, July 26, 2010

Teaching at Payne Theological Seminary

I've had a beautiful day with the 28 seminary students in my Spiritual Formation class at Payne Theological Seminary. These students have traveled to Wilberforce, Ohio from all over the U.S. - from Florida, New York, Atlanta, Texas, New Jersey, South Carolina, Ohio, and yes even from Michigan. A pastor from Detroit showed up this morning wearing a Tigers hat! (And then the Tigers get no-hit tonight... :(...

Whenever I teach this class I send the students out to pray for an hour, giving them specific instructions. I give them Psalm 23 to meditate on and say, "When God speaks to you, write it down."

It was a stunning morning as we all went out to pray. I re-meditated on Ps. 23 - it's always a blessing for me to do this, and today I was spoken to in a new way about the "comfort" God is now giving my soul. That was very encouraging.

When the students re-convened in our classroom I had them break into groups of four and share with one another the things God spoke to them. There was a lot of great sharing which culminated in each group making a report to the entire class. God spoke in many and various ways to all of us today. One of the students received an answer to a prayer she had been asking God about for 5 years.

After lunch I began teaching my theology of spiritual formation. This is something I've worked on for thirty years, and there's not a textbook that shares it the way I want it shared. I've developed this as a result of: 30+ years of weekly praying and entering into God's presence; teaching and spiritual-coaching 900+ pastors and Christian leaders from all over the world; traveling to various seminaries and conferences and teaching these things; reading and teaching the history of Christian spirituality, and studying the biblical texts.

Tomorrow morning I'll send the students out to pray again for an hour, and again use Ps. 23 as our meditative focus (there is a method, which is Hebraic, to this madness). Then I will re-teach my theology of spirituality, this time inserting the spirituality of Howard Thurman into the mix.

God gave me some specific insights into the students' lives today. They are a great, receptive group. For me it's a real honor to spend this week with them.