Faith Formation Explained in 66 Words

Faith Formation Explained in 66 Words

“Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships – often in our own homes.”





A Recurring Thought
This past weekend I had the pleasure and honor of attending the Intergenerational Faith Formation Symposium. This conference, organized by Lifelong Faith Associates, brought 100 experts (and eager amateurs like myself) together for an exchange of ideas and a chance to chart the future of intergenerational ministry. Throughout the sessions, something kept popping into my mind.

A few days later, I was asked to give a forum presentation at a local church. The topic was “Raising the Next Generation in Faith.”  As I prepared my outline, again, something kept popping into my mind…

Well, what was it? It was the Five Principles of Passing on Faith from Vibrant Faith Ministries.

Many readers of Building Faith will be familiar with Vibrant Faith. It was more than a decade ago that Dr. David Anderson proposed the key principles, based on research and experience across Christian denominations. They have stood up, and they are still standing up (and popping into minds wherever faith formation is discussed). So here they are. Print them, memorize them, tape them to your desk, send them to your congregation’s staff and volunteers… you get the idea. This is faith formation in 66 words:

Five Principles for Living and Passing on Faith (from Vibrant Faith Ministries)

1. Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships – often in our own homes.

2. The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and ministry of the home.

3. Where Christ is present in faith, the home is church too.

4. Faith is caught more than it is taught.

5. If we want Christian children and youth, we need Christian adults.


A Christian Education Creed
As you read (or re-read) these principles, notice the focus on community, and the importance of the household. Christian educators may have different programs, curricula, and methods for raising up disciples of Jesus Christ. But these principles can be held in common. Call it a common “creed” – in 66 words.


Matthew Kozlowski works at the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary. He shares life with his wife Danielle and two young daughters: Maria and Grace.

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