At ACOM retreat at the begining of the year the students meet together in their Personal Formation groups. This is a subject at ACOM, I’ve no idea how you can ‘grade’ the personal and spiritual formation of someone, but we try to do it in a grace-filled way, a way that includes the student’s own self assesment, thier mentors and coach’s thoughts and so on. Personal formation is a core subject. We realised that many a student would complete their degree and be ‘trained’ in theology, but only partially trained in ministry and very little training in character and personal disciplines. Pastors were taking hold of churches and killing them with their own personality and disfunction. ‘PF’ does not guarantee to entirely fix this problem, but we try to head in the right direction with it.
At the retreat we had (Club Capricorn) students spend up to 4 hours a day in groups just telling their life story to the rest of their group. This is an amazing time for many as they are given the gift of people actually sitting listening to their life story, the listeners recieve the gift of a person opening up their life, being ‘real’, etc. It’s powerful.
On Tuesday night (stinking hot) we set up an outdoor movie theatre and watched Danny Deckchair, followed by Eagles Farewell Tour #1 in Melbourne. It was a great night.
Wed night, a time of worship, meditation and refelction was followed by a great movie “Tuesdays with Morrie”. We had a fairly intense time of reflection after that!!
All in all we had a great few days, looks like we are in for some great ministry training this year!