Lifelong Faith provides a blueprint for building twenty-first century Christian formation that forms disciples of all ages and transforms church communities.
Vibrant lifelong faith formation can renew and revitalize faith across generations and contribute towards a thriving congregation that lives its mission.
Using the seven elements outlined in this book, churches will create a dynamic and vital plan that can be customized to meet the needs, interests, and challenges we face today, and nurture the spiritual growth of all ages. With current research, clear examples, and tools for design and evaluation, Lifelong Faith is a practical, thoughtful, and comprehensive guide for clergy, educators and lay leaders who seek a fresh, holistic approach to Christian education and discipleship.
From the author:
The mission of making disciples and forming faith for a lifetime can seem over-whelming. Leaders want to make lifelong faith formation a reality. They want to nurture, sustain, and deepen the Christian faith for a lifetime. What if we could identify the essential elements that make lifelong faith formation work—key elements that could guide decision-making and planning in every single church?
My efforts to identify these essentials has been inspired by the marvelous book and Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat. The whole idea behind Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is that if we can learn how to use those four elements—which play a role in everything that we cook—we can learn how, why, and when to use them, and make anything taste good with or without a recipe. The rest, she says, is just a combination of cultural, seasonal, or technical details, for which we could consult cookbooks and experts, histories, and maps. For her this insight was a “revelation.”
What if we took the same approach in lifelong faith formation? What if we could develop lifelong faith formation by using several essential elements that could be contextualized and customized in any setting? These elements would need to reflect the best thinking and practice in faith formation and education. They would also need to address the challenges we are facing today.
My new book, Lifelong Faith: Formation for All Ages and Generations presents seven elements that I believe are essential for developing lifelong faith formation.
- Goals for maturing in faith
- Practices for forming a Christian way of life
- Intergenerational faith formation through Christian community
- Family faith formation with three generations
- Networks for forming faith with all ages
- Pathways for personalizing faith formation
- Playlists for engaging people of all ages in faith formation
These are elements that every church can contextualize and customize to their size, location, and diversity of their people. Lifelong faith formation developed around these seven elements can transform the life of families, children, adolescents, adults, and the whole church community.
In addition to chapters on the seven elements, the Lifelong Faith book describes how to integrate the elements into a network plan and how to create your church's model of lifelong faith formation. The book concludes with chapters on building capacity for lifelong faith formation and the emerging roles for leaders in lifelong faith formation. The Lifelong Faith book and website work together to guide you in developing lifelong faith formation in your church community.
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Anyone concerned with helping followers of Jesus live out their Christian faith will welcome Lifelong Faith. John Roberto's biblical grounding and sound pedagogy, supported by practical resources, encourages us to reflect on our current practices and their effectiveness in nurturing lifelong discipleship.
John Roberto maps out a vision of faith formation that is hopeful, creative, timely, wise, and thoroughly practical. This excellent resource invites us to embrace the challenges and opportunities that are before us and shows us how we can do this by delivering fresh, clear, and accessible counsel that is sure to prove applicable for churches of any tradition.
John has a gift for capturing the most relevant and perceptive kernels from both the classics and current research and integrating them into eminently usable understandings for spiritual formation. He brings his rich experience and keen perception to his latest enterprise, Lifelong Faith.
JOHN ROBERTO has been teaching, writing, researching, consulting, and developing program resources in faith formation since 1969. He was the founder of the Center for Ministry Development (1978), where he worked for 28 years. From 2001-2006, John was the creator and project coordinator of the Generations of Faith Project, a five-year Lilly Endowment initiative to develop intergenerational faith formation in Catholic parishes across the United States. In 2006, he founded Lifelong Faith Associates, LLC to continue his work. John lives in Cheshire, Connecticut.