We have reached the halfway point in our school; this is the week I assess the students in our Spiritual Formation Course. Are they growing in the Lord? Are they pressing into the teachings and homework? What are their epiphanies and breakthroughs? How is their devotional life standing up under the pressures of performance, outreach, the school, homework from other classes (more tangible and concrete assignments)? If I weren't teaching the module, and even though I am, I'd struggle with the right to ask.
In a course designed to cultivate each one's ability to 'be' with the
Lord, how do we assess without a checklist of things to see if they were 'done'?
If we are to take pride in our work, how do we then assess performance?
do we assess without driving people into legalism, or a performance
mentality, but in order to further evoke their true personhood--in Christ? Without
judging their spiritual life, but making some evaluation as to their
growth in Christ, the better to cultivate further growth, intimacy and maturity with the Lord?
As a missionary, I'm used to constant assessment of my ministry; am I 'performing,' effective, spiritually sound, and walking with the Lord? Accountability it's called, a word thrown around muchly, but blunted by taboo: are we not offending, exposing, judging? Who is to judge whether one's spiritual life is up to snuff?
In my early days walking with Jesus, it was fairly routine to discuss with my peers what the Lord was doing in our lives. It's become trickier in these later stages of life. When did that go from excitement to fear of exposure as an imposter? A disturbing line of thought for me...and I am grateful for the ones with whom I can still discuss and sharpen my spiritual life.
Tough questions. Any thoughts?!