A Timely Spiritually Formative Guide to Help Christ Followers Reconcile Their Faith with the Complexities of Race, Social Justice and SexualityRich Villodas is Pastor of New Life Fellowship in Queens—a Large, Multiracial Church with More Than 75 Countries Represented
“The Deeply Formed Life
is a book for our time. Honest, wise, insightful, funny, and—above all—deep. The way Rich and New Life Fellowship hold emotional health and racial justice together is beyond inspiring. This is spiritual formation for the future of the church.”
—John Mark Comer
, pastor of teaching and vision at Bridgetown Church and author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
“The troubling reality is that believers can be deeply committed to being Christian without ever being deeply formed by Christ.”
in The Deeply Formed Life
The world is busier and people are more isolated than they’ve ever been, with more noise and distraction unsettling already restless souls. In The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus
(WaterBrook, 9/15/20), pastor Rich Villodas points out that many believers are out of rhythm due to being negatively formed by a shallow root system—comprised of unhealthy individualism, consumerism, and division. Yet he believes Christ can form each person through a deeply rooted value system.
To help provide a discipleship for a deeper, more meaningful faith, Villodas explores a fresh vision for authentic spiritual formation comprised of five key pathways:
• Contemplative Rhythms:
slowing down our lives to be with God. He explores the deeply formed practices of contemplative rhythms in the lives of Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus.
• Interior Examination:
looking beneath the surface of our lives to live free and love well. Villodas openly shares his own journey to make biblical self-examination part of his own life and provides practices to help readers gain emotional health and open themselves up to the grace and presence of God.
• Racial Justice:
examining a multi-layered approach to pursuing racial justice and reconciliation.
• Sexual Wholeness:
exploring how our sexuality connects with our spirituality. Villodas provides practices to help Christians reject lies and disordered appetites in order to work towards healing, integrity and love in this often wounded area of our lives.
• Missional Presence:
living as the presence of Christ in a broken and disengaged world.
In an increasingly fractured time, where little common ground can be found, these pathways can transform lives from the inside out and empower people to follow Jesus in the midst of the many divisive, pressing issues of our day. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
: Rich Villodas
is the author of The Deeply Formed Life
and Brooklyn-born lead pastor of New Life Fellowship, a large, multiracial church with more than 75 countries represented in Elmhurst, Queens. Prior to becoming lead pastor, he gave oversight to New Life's small group ministry and served as preaching pastor. Rich graduated with a BA in pastoral ministry and theology from Nyack College. He went on to complete his master's of divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading widely, and preaching and writing on contemplative spirituality, justice-related issues, and the art of preaching. He's been married to Rosie since 2006 and they have two beautiful children, Karis and Nathan. Visit him online at www.richvillodas.com and https://instagram.com/richvillodas
https://twitter.com/richvillodas Praise for The Deeply Formed Life:
“Rich Villodas writes from the wellspring of a monastic spirit that has been woven into the fabric of his life for years. I know very few Christian leaders who embody the contemplative life in such a way that connects the complex social, cultural, and spiritual realities we face today. The Deeply Formed Life
invites us to journey with God toward personal wholeness and a new moral imagination that creates a better world of justice, peace,and reconciliation. I highly recommend it!”
—Brenda Salter McNeil
, author of Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now
“Rich Villodas masterfully integrates a wide range of sources—from contemplative to charismatic, monastic to missional, psychological to theological—in a way that is unmistakably Christ centered and gospel shaped. From his own deep spiritual journey, Rich has emerged with a voice that is warm and wise. His vulnerability is refreshing, and hisdistillation of these life-changing insights and practices is clear and compelling. I found myself smiling and feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit as I read it, and shouting, ‘Amen.’”
—Rev. Dr. Glenn Packiam
, associate senior pastor at New Life Church and author of Blessed Broken Given
“The evidence is everywhere—Christians have been formed by our culture for shallowness. The way to a more deeply formed life is no great mystery, but it is, as Rich Villodas shows, filled with countercultural practices that require intention, purpose, and vision. These pages cast a vision for not only deeper, holistic formation of each of us as individual believers but also for a more deeply formed church as well.”
—Karen Swallow Prior
, author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life Through Great Books
and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
“I’ve studied the Bible under Pastor Rich’s leadership for close to a decade. The core values he shares in this book serve as guidance, not only for how we should live as Christians in an ever-changing world but also for how we can live a life of purpose—that consistently and enthusiastically points to Jesus.”
—Susan Kelechi Watson
, actress from the award-winning television series This Is Us
“The Deeply Formed Life
is a powerful call to a holy pursuit away from the temptations of a shallow discipleship that encumber our generation. Rich masterfully weaves the experiences and disciplines of both personal and communal formation that inspire and empower us to a contemporary discipleship, which leads to spiritual health and flourishing. This book is a gift that enriches us as we open every layer.”
—Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero
, pastor at Calvario City Church and president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition
“Rich Villodas understands that a pastor’s primary task is not to gather a crowd but to form people in Christ. Spiritual formation is not a practice reserved for the spiritually elite;rather it is the very heart of all Christian discipleship. He embodies my hope for the contemporary church in the Western world—for us to a shift toward spiritual formation. The Deeply Formed Life
clearly marks the path we need to follow, making the essential practices of formation accessible to everyone.”—Brian Zahnd
, pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and author ofSinners in the Hands of a Loving God
“My friend Rich Villodas has been marked deeply by the spiritual directors of church history. And yet this book is not only about a call to engage in ancient practices so that we can have a more fulfilling life. Rich calls us to both personal refreshment and
missional engagement, the kind of engagement that challenges injustice. I believe The Deeply Formed Life
represents a new genre of spiritual direction, a kind modeled after Jesus, who both went away to pray and engaged the marginalized.”—Dr. Bryan Loritts
, author of The Dad Difference
“The Deeply Formed Life
tackles the endemic issue of non-discipleship within the Western church. The book is theologically rich, pastorally sensitive, and wonderfully practical. Rich does not shy away from addressing some of the most pressing issues in our day and how they affect our discipleship. This is much-needed!
missional leader, speaker, and author of Untamed: Reactivating a Missional Form of Discipleship
and Redeeming Sex
“Revealing our shallowness with grace and helping us see there is so much more to living, Rich Villodas leads us patiently into The Deeply Formed Life.
Step by step, this pastor walks us through the malformations that plague our modern existence. He challenges us with content that has a personal spirituality and with nothing less than a full-orbed Christian discipleship. A powerful summons to the deeper life.”
, Lindner chair of evangelical theology at Northern Seminary Chicago and author of Faithful Presence