This winter quarter Joyce Tomblin facilitated the second installment of Northlake’s Spiritual Formation L.A.B.S. The SFL are intended to guide participants through hands-on experiments, challenging experiences, and deeply rich dialogue and learning all aimed at forming us into different people. SFL are not so much about learning new things, which is certainly necessary, as they are about becoming a new person and being able to practice new things. Joyce’s Lab was the the “L” category of L.A.B.S, which stands for Life Skills, and the life skill focused on here was “Cultivating Authentic Relationships.” Below is a testimony about this SFL from one of the Lab participants and long-time Northlake member, Peggy Woods.
“I have just attended a truly life-changing class. How many years I have studied the Bible and tried to apply the lessons learned, but never have I had real how-to techniques outlined and structured for my learning. This class did just that. I have come away from this quarter with a plan of discipline I have written and committed to for my personal growth as a Christian. I have analyzed myself and determined my needs and set out on a realistic renewal process of action.
“Learning about Christian principles is only a first step toward growth. To practice Christianity there are things we must do. Being a disciple of Christ is not a state of MIND, a list of beliefs, it is a state of BEING like Christ. We need to LEARN how to be like Him, and PRACTICE being like Him. We have to learn how to apply the truths of the sacred principles He taught. This class has been about just that. We are learning how to, for example; “be still and know”. How to face and deal realistically the WALLS of struggles, knowing we always have God with us, and how to grow more like Christ. There is a discipline involved and a rhythm for our lives that must be practiced to assure growth.
“In this class the opportunities to enlarge our circle of knowledge were overwhelming. We were challenged each week to think, prepare for changes in life, to know ourselves better, to recognize the transforming power of being with God, and to develop our own life mission with a realistic plan of action. As we realize this circle has grown larger we also see how much we don’t know. The process of living and learning to live more fully have been the focus in this exciting productive class.”
We are thankful for Holly Duncan and Kyle Huhtanen for the amazing success of LABS 01 that was taught last fall. We appreciate as well the hard work Joyce poured into this transformative encounter. Currently LAB 03 is going on on Sunday nights from 5-7pm and is led by Shawn Duncan. This SFL focus on the “S” category – Spirituality. The theme of this laboratory for spiritual formation is “Missional Spirituality.” They are exploring practices of spirituality and faith formation that prepare us for a life lived for the sake of God’s mission in the world.