126. A Crisis of Adult Discipleship, with Brian Wallace, Executive Director of the Center for Spiritual Formation


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The church is experiencing what Brian Wallace calls a crisis of adult discipleship. We have plenty of people going to church. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into faithful, deep discipleship.
In this episode Brian Wallace discusses how to address that challenge. Brian is the Executive Director of Fuller Seminary’s Center for Spiritual Formation, and he helps us understand the critical components necessary for deep spiritual formation.

  • Brian Wallace is the Executive Director of the Fuller Center for Spiritual Formation.
  • As a pastor in a megachurch, Brian Wallace knew there was a crisis of adult discipleship.
  • The vision of the Center for Spiritual Formation is to empower leaders everywhere to grow and send everyone.
  • In Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard says we are always being formed.
  • Spiritual formation is the determination to let Jesus be in charge of who we become.
  • Brian Wallace says we are the representation of God’s goodness in the world.
  • The reason we have a crisis of formation is because, according to Brian Wallace, we have placed information at the center of the formative process.
  • No one has ever been invited to follow Jesus by themselves.
  • We are formed spiritually when we are in a safe place—not safe from challenge and conviction, but safe from shame and guilt.
  • According to Brian Wallace, relationships are critically important in our journey to becoming more like Jesus.
  • How do we help our congregations be engage in deep spiritual formation when most of our church members only attend church once or twice a month?
  • Fuller Formation Groups (part of the Center for Spiritual Formation) are designed to help churches lead their congregations into deep spiritual formation.
  • The calculus of transformation is an informed practice in a reflective community over time.
  • Brian Wallace says spiritual formation requires time. Not many hours in a week, but many weeks over time.


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