Session Two – Formed by Relationships
Session Two – Formed by Relationships
This session looks at the link between spiritual formation and relationships with the help of Monique Thomas.

In this session we explore the topic of spiritual formation and how relationships interact with the process. This session features interviews with Monique Thomas, author of the book Pressure Off which is due to be published mid 2023. At the end of the session there is a practical exercise which allow us to be silent and rest in Gods presence.


In this interview with Monique Thomas we hear about the importance of relationships both vertically with God and horizontally with each other.


If we are not careful, the concept of spiritual foundation can become all about us, and not about Jesus. The role of community is key to our formation. The Bible speaks into us being the ‘body’ of Christ and therefore each of us has a role to play in each others stories. When we understand this, we can see the value that each individual brings. God has placed us in family, both in the blood relationship but also in spiritual family, the Church. Our love for God is reflected and tested, most powerfully, in the way that we relate to one another.

The reason we have relationships is so that we can share the treasured moments, and the hard moments with someone else – what is a celebration without someone else there? On the other hand, what is grief without a shoulder to cry on? Our innate desire is to be in community with others who can resonate with our day to day and our out of the ordinary. Although relationships can be joyful they can also be hard work. It’s when we lean into those moments that we can see Christ being formed in us.

During the COVID-19 pandemic it was so helpful to engage online with church and we are grateful for the technology that enabled us to do that but nothing can replace human connection, touch, eye contact etc.

God has the ability to speak to us, guide us and direct us through scripture and prayer but he has also given us the gift of other people. This is important because through this we can work through situations we face together, we were not meant to face things alone. We are called to behold God but also behold one another. In this process we are being formed, we allow people to speak into our lives and we put ourselves to one side to listen to another view point. Our ability to be formed in community allows us to nurture those life giving relationships.

Practice: Being Slow

Monique’s boy, AJ, makes an appearance which is an absolute delight. In this part of the session we look at the importance of being slow and engage with a practical exercise of 5 minutes of collective silence (with or without worship music).

Being slow allows us to sense God on a whole new level. Spiritual formation is a slow process, it’s not a quick fix. This has a parallel with relationships and perhaps situations with conflict. The work is sometimes painful, time consuming and slow. The culture of today is all about speed – how fast we can get or do something. This is not how God deals with us. He is committed to the actual process not a speedy time frame – the lifestyle or journey and who we are becoming is what is important to God.

Take the time now to engage with the 5 minute of collective silence.

Discussion Points