Diana Shiflett’s new book, Spiritual Practices in Community, contains many examples of spiritual practices that can be done in groups. Many of these were new to me and quite interesting.
Diana Shiflett is the pastor of spiritual formation at Naperville Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. She is an adjunct professor of youth ministry at North Park University and a licensed spiritual director.
In addition to our recorded podcast, she offered some further reflections on questions about the direction of the church.
CS: Do you think evangelical Christian's as a whole are becoming more open to contemplative Christianity?
DS: Yes, I do believe that more evangelical Christians as a whole are becoming more open to contemplative Christianity. Evangelicals are are longing to connect with God, and are finding that contemplative Christianity helps them connect with the living God.
CS: I've noticed that while some evangelicals become more open to spiritual practice and contemplation, there is another trend tending towards deconstructing conventional models and for some of these, the deconstruction drives them from the church altogether. Can you offer any insight here?
DS: Many people have been hurt by the church. Often times this hurt from the church drives people away from the church. Much of the deconstruction I see in the church is either from hurt from the church, or a desire to not follow God, and a desire to live life how people want to live as individuals which is why my book focuses on the community element so much. Most people connect with people online now instead of face to face making it easier to do your more individual thing. Deconstructing of conventional models of church can be met with a new way to do church, which is what I invite people to do in my book. One of the important elements to doing church is connecting with other believers face to face. Jesus came to earth in the flesh so that we might see God. We too need to live into the incarnation and be Christ’s hands and feet to others.
CS: In your book you mention breath prayer? Do you strongly differentiate this from bresthing/mindfulness meditation or does the distinction just depend on what kind of audience you are addressing?
DS: In my book I do not "strongly" differentiate this from mindfulness meditation. However, I do use scripture, and prayer towards Jesus to create and engage with Breath prayer.
AUTHOR: Diana Shiflett
BOOK: Spiritual Practices in Community
AUTHOR BIO: https://www.ivpress.com/diana-shiflett
INTERVIEW DATE: Monday, April 8
MEDIA: The Contemplative Light Podcast
HOST: Clint Sabom