Many reflections came out from my mind since I read Simon Chan’s Spiritual Theology (e.g. how could Trinitarian concept be applied into my church’s life as a foundation for spirituality, how could I teach them to know about the seriousness of sin, how could I implant the concept of prayer and prayers in their lives, and so on). However, those reflections, as well as applications to the church’s life, seem to be more vivid when I came across into the final chapter which talks much about the spiritual director. In other words, the topic gives me the inspiration to know how to apply the spiritual theology and practice to the congregation.
Among many important points in the topic, I want to interact with the so-called a fellow traveller. I’m really impressed with Chan’s words when he says that, “A director is not a merely resource person who provides information for others. He must be a fellow traveller along the way.” Actually, through the sentence, he reminds us that there is a big difference between academic learning and spiritual guiding. Academic learning is closely connected to the giving of facts, theory, or information; whereas spiritual guiding is closely connected to the giving of life (also reflecting the way of life) to others in order to be a fellow traveller.
When I read this part, I said “Yes, I find the way to apply all of the spiritual theology and practices to my church.” And I think that being a fellow traveller is an important key to help the others to achieve a spiritual growth. Furthermore, I think that becoming a fellow traveller should be more feasible since we live in an Asian context that emphasize on relationship. Such emphasis could be seen in my church where I ministered in (the majority is Chinese members).
Yet, from where should I and my colleagues become a fellow traveller to the congregation? One thing that comes in my mind is that we should be a fellow traveller, firstly, to the current presbyters. I think this would be a good start to practice it. Hopefully, by this way, the presbyters will concern more on the spiritual growth instead of church growth in quantity. I’m quite convinced that if the presbyters start to concern to the spiritual growth through spiritual guidance, they will also have a great willingness to be a fellow traveller to the other members.