My thoughts the last few days have been on priorities. March Madness or reading and preparation for this week? Watching a movie with my daughter or getting stuff set around the house? Getting up for a 6am men’s group or snoring like a Kodiak bear?

These are pretty easy calls (except for the last one - still missing that 45 minutes of sleep) but when it comes to growth and our formation in Christ, priorities are interesting little avenues that can lead to places where it’s not black and white or easy to decide which road to take:

Read more Scripture or pray longer? Serve in my community or overseas? Forgive my enemy or my family? Take a class or spend time with my crumbling marriage?

Granted, either/or isn't fair in this list. It's often a "yes" answer to a question that poses two options. The reality is that these are key, critical activities to our formation but the church has to begin to diagnose one critical statement:

Without ________________ people will shrivel up and die in their formation in Christ.

What is most essential for people to grow in Jesus? Is there one thing? If it is one thing, why does it trump the other possible options?

How do you provide it as a pastor instead of programming it for consumers?

Those are my questions today – what must be present in our formation in Christ or else we will die?

Michael Wilkins, if anyone, provides a start as far as I'm concerned here.

Tomorrow - Look for Part 2 of "The Myth of Community"

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