(watch the FORM story)
Every FORM year is full of real-world impact. FORM students embark in life-changing experiences that prepare them for a lifetime of living and leading like Jesus. It's important that we tell those stories to share what God is doing. The students below were asked two questions: "Why are you in FORM?" and "What has God done while you've been in FORM?"
I got really burnt out last year in a ministry role with hardly any support. I needed time and help to process what career would be a better fit for me. I also needed spiritual support since I had very little last year. FORM, to me, is a sabbatical. It's a time to be poured into, refreshed, encouraged, and a time to get help answering questions about where my life is headed.
God has grown my prayer life. Part of FORM requires being involved in church ministries, and I chose the prayer team. I've seen God heal people through my prayers. It's amazing! I've also grown in hearing God's voice, and have been practicing that during our required journaling time.
When I first heard about FORM, I didn't think it was for me. I had always desired to be in vocational ministry, and at that point I was finishing up my third church internship and a degree in youth ministry. However, when I was encouraged to join by our staff leaders, I ended up entering into a truly life-changing and life-equipping journey. What I love about FORM is that it is designed in a way that can accommodate anyone; this year we have people like me in ministry, people who don't want to be in vocational ministry, people from 18 to 27, an ex-Muslim, people with bachelor's degrees and people without, a girl who came from the Navy, supportive families and abusive ones, everyone! Maybe that's because the main premise is to hear what God is saying and respond faithfully--something we all need.
Just when I think I've reached an appropriate level of humility or trust, God calls me deeper still. He has taught me deeper realities about my identity in him, and I've learned to relate to him both as Dad and Friend in ways I simply hadn't before. I've been challenged in my assumptions about heaven coming to earth in healing and prophecy. Most importantly, he's teaching me to grow in recognizing his voice and learning to be obedient. He is everything.
I am in FORM, because when I graduated from high school in May of 2015, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do next. I didn't feel called anywhere, and I didn't have a specific passion I wanted to pursue. Then I remembered I was told about this thing called FORM earlier that spring, and I felt God was calling me to join. I fought God on it for a while because my life was very comfortable. I was surrounded by friends and family in a nice little city in Michigan, and honestly, I really just don't like change. But after quite a lot of prayer, I was drawn to FORM. I loved the idea of taking a year out of my life to focus on and develop not only what I can do, but who I am, as well as focusing on my relationship with God.
God has done so many incredible things in me since I started FORM. For example, He has helped me work through and beat so many things. I use to struggle every day with depression, and God has been there with me every step of the way, helping me find the roots to why I felt the way I did and to face the lies the enemy was telling me head on. My absolute favorite thing that God has done in me is I have been encountering Him in such a new and real way. He's my best friend, the love of my life, and everything to me, whereas when I joined FORM, I really just liked God. If this one thing is the only thing I get from FORM, it will have been worth every single second because it has completely changed me now and forever.
I am in FORM because I felt very clearly that God told me to be. Besides that I was at a point in my life where I wanted know more about God and actually see Him in the community that I was in.
Since I have been in FORM I have been pushed in so many areas of my life. I am in a constant state of discomfort which I don't especially enjoy, but I know that in the end it is for a greater good. I am learning what it means to be in true community, which is something that I have never experienced. I am learning grace for others and for myself. I am also learning how to process and heal from my past so that I can go into my future free from it. The complete humbleness of all of the leadership here is something that I am continuously learning from.
Honestly, I am in FORM because it was part of my job requirement. I was hired on to Fellowship Missionary church staff as the Young Adults Intern. Part of my job requirements was to do FORM. Even though it is required for me, I still enjoy FORM very much. It has been a really impactful experience for me.
God has done so much during FORM. One huge way God has shown up during FORM is through the supernatural. I have been challenged to act in the gifting God has given me. It has allowed me to see God through new lenses and further his kingdom in my life in a new way.
I just graduated high school this past summer and was not interested in going to college. During this time of waiting, God opened the door and led me to FORM. I prayed to ask God if this was what I was suppose to do next, and I felt His leading that it was. I was super excited to learn and grow in Christ!
He has taught me so much more about Himself and I’ve grown spiritually. I have had a lot of opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and be stretched in areas of leadership and prayer. It’s been such a blessing to be part of a group that is longing to grow in Christ and to have Christian fellowship. I’m excited to continue my spiritual journey of drawing closer to God as He leads.
My reason for being in FORM isn’t entirely clear. The opportunity to join presented itself right around the time that I was reevaluating my direction with school, and I guess you could say I just felt called to it without knowing why (which is hard for me, that is, doing something without a clear reason from the outset.)
The prevailing thing I feel God has been teaching me throughout FORM is how to actively have a quiet heart. There have also been many beneficial lessons pertaining to leadership, spiritual growth, and identity. But in the end, the overarching theme that has become more apparent in recent weeks is the importance of silence in my personal life.