Churches of Christ, Spiritual Formation, and the Liturgical Christian Calendar
Churches of Christ, Spiritual Formation, and the Liturgical Christian Calendar
Wes Horn 0
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It was in those first couple of months that I fell in love with
liturgy, the ancient pattern of worship shared mainly in the
Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox, and Episcopal churches. It felt like a
gift that had been caretaken by generations of the faithful and
handed to us to live out and caretake and hand off. Like a stream
that has flowed long before us and will continue long after us. A
stream that we get to swim in, so that we, like those who came
before us, can be immersed in language of truth and promise and
grace. Something about the liturgy was simultaneously
destabilizing and centering; my individualism subverted by being
joined to other people through God to find who I was.
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
Time is important. It affects us all. Whether a teacher planning out
his school year or a farmer determining when to sow her crop, time
directs our path. Time shows us our priorities, often forcing us to choose
between two important choices. It can determine our focus as we work
hard to complete a project on schedule. And time directs our journey as
we move from appointment to appointment.
The same is true for churches. The liturgical Christian calendar, in
pointing the church towards the work of God, keeps the church’s
priorities in focus as the church journeys through life.1 Rodney Clapp
What we need to appreciate is that liturgy before the
printing press was quite vigorously a communal and
social affair. It was a corporate enactment and celebration of
God’s presence. In other words, people participated. And
they did not imagine their liturgy confined to a
“sanctuary,” segregated from the surrounding public. Early
Christians met liturgically in tenements, forums, shrines and
cemeteries. Worship could raucously spill out of a cathedral
into the streets of cities and suburbs.2
My Doctor of Ministry project through the Hazelip School of
Theology at Lipscomb University tested the thesis that the introduction of
the liturgical Christian calendar into the worship life of the Orient Street
Church of Christ would help lead to spiritual formation for its members.3
What is the Christian Year?
The Christian year is the cycle of days and seasons drawing the
church into a rhythm of life mirroring Jesus. During the first part of the
Christian year, the holy days, the church experiences the birth, life, death,
burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus as well as the arrival of the
Holy Spirit through the days and seasons of Advent, Christmas,
Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and Pentecost. The second half of the
Christian year, ordinary time, invites the church, empowered by the Holy
Spirit, to become Jesus in the world.4
The Christian year is more than just intellectual worship; it is
designed to engage the whole person. Through the use of special days,
colors, and religious symbols, the liturgical Christian year draws all parts
of a person into the cycle of the life of Jesus. By living out the life of Jesus,
the church can “remember the presence of God in the past, celebrate it in
the present, and anticipate the presence of God in the days to come.”5
Why the Liturgical Christian Calendar?
The liturgical Christian calendar has the potential to benefit the
Orient Street Church in several ways. First, as the congregation engages in
the cycle of the Christian seasons, its members have the opportunity to
participate in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus as well as
celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit. Such participation in the biblical
narrative potentially prompts congregational members to live out the
biblical story in their own lives.
Second, the introduction of the Christian calendar provides
believers at Orient Street with the opportunity for personal reflection,
confession, repentance, and rededication as disciples of Jesus. This can be
most clearly seen in the season of Lent. Finally, it provides an opportunity
for members of Orient Street to join the larger Christian community in its
celebration of the life of Jesus.
The Christian Year and Churches of Christ
Introducing the liturgical Christian Calendar into the worship life
of a Church of Christ congregation, though, is not a simple project.
Edward Shepard notes a major objection free churches, like the Churches
of Christ, have towards the Christian calendar: free churches tend to reject
any practice that does not find its explicit origins in Scripture.6
The issue is authority. The focus on authority is connected to the
goal of the “restoration of primitive Christianity,” which is an important
part of what Churches of Christ were attempting to achieve at their
inception and what many embrace today.7 Therefore, if the practices of
following a liturgical calendar or honoring specific days as special are not
found within the Bible, then the natural DNA of Churches of Christ calls
for their exclusion.
If the liturgical Christian calendar is going to be introduced into the
Churches of Christ, one must address this issue because, from the time of
the split between the Disciples of Christ and the Churches of Christ, most
writers within Churches of Christ have opposed any association with the
For example, David Lipscomb, responding to a question regarding
having a Christmas tree in the “church house,” wrote: “Bible never
authorized any celebration of the birth of Christ. To engage in worship not
ordained by God is sin. This we regard as beyond dispute.”8
Foy E. Wallace Jr. suggested the roots of the Christian calendar
grew out of the Roman Catholic tradition and are therefore unacceptable
in the church.
Thus out of their own imagination, according to their own
will, and by presumptuous human authority, the men of
Roman Catholicism have set up feast days for religious
observance, in violation of new testament [sic] teaching
against the observance of days and seasons (Rom. 14 and
Gal. 4), and the will‐worship of men (Col. 2) condemned by
Writing in 1950, Roy E. Cogdill asserted that the Christian year
practices of the Catholic Church did not arise from Christian Scripture,
but from two other sources of authority placed alongside Scripture: the
Pope and tradition. According to Cogdill, neither are acceptable nor useful
if one is trying to “look like the New Testament Church.”10
This is the consistent witness and vision of Churches of Christ
throughout most of the twentieth century. Yet other voices are emerging
within the Churches of Christ. These voices take a different view of
tradition and authority and what it means to look like the New Testament
Richard Hughes understands the trend to be moving from the
Bible as the pattern to “Jesus as the pattern for authentic human life.”11
This idea of “Jesus as the pattern for authentic human life” is what the
Christian calendar seeks to instill in the life of congregational participants.
Wes Crawford notes four reasons for this movement: 1) renewed interest
in the Old Testament by Church of Christ scholars, 2) “rapidly losing
appeal” for the three‐part hermeneutical formula, 3) greater value for
biblical scholarship, and 4) desire for the church to conform “to the image
of Jesus Christ.”12
This movement has led several congregations within the Churches
of Christ to incorporate the practice of different parts of the Christian
calendar into the worship life of their congregations today. For example,
the University Church of Christ in Malibu, California, has held special
Advent services and a special Seder meal in preparation for Easter.13 The
Highland Church of Christ, in Abilene, Texas, has begun hosting a special
Ashes service on Ash Wednesday in preparation for the season of Lent.14
The Conejo Valley Church of Christ in Thousand Oaks, California,
acknowledges the season of Lent by having forty days of special events
and service projects.15 The Woodmont Hills Church of Christ, in Nashville,
Tennessee, has practiced Advent, Christmas, Lent, Good Friday, and
Easter as part of their liturgical rhythm for the past several years.16
A few years ago, in response to a noted need to increase the place
and voice of Scripture in their worship services, the South Newnan
Church of Christ in Newnan, Georgia, a noninstitutional congregation,17
began following the Book of Common Prayer’s lectionary. Although there
was no specific intention to incorporate the practices of the Christian
calendar, because the cycle of readings from the lectionary corresponded
with the liturgical seasons, their minister at the time noted they were able
to “put more emphasis on some of the holidays that the lectionary
highlight[ed], namely Easter and Pentecost.”18
Josh Graves noted the Otter Creek Church of Christ in Nashville,
Tennessee, has celebrated Advent, the Lent‐Easter seasons along with
Holy Week for at least the last four years.19 During the Lenten season, the
church partnered with other liturgical churches in the area to experience
Ashes together. Graves noted that at Otter Creek the theme of Holy Week
is often tied to issues of justice in the city of Nashville. When asked why
Otter Creek incorporated parts of the liturgical calendar, Graves offered
two reasons. First, he noted how following the Christian calendar
connected Otter Creek to the church though the ages. It allowed them to
feel like they were a part of the Great Tradition of the church. In addition,
Graves stated when they follow the Christian calendar, they were aware
they were not doing it alone. They made a point to remind their members
that Christians throughout the world were practicing the same rhythms
they were. So, in addition to connecting them to the historic church, by
following the calendar they also connected with the contemporary
Even though it might not be the norm to experience the liturgical
Christian calendar within the Churches of Christ, more churches are
becoming convinced of its value, the theology behind it, and the spiritual
benefits it offers their congregation.
One spiritual benefit of following the Christian calendar is the
possibility a congregation might be encouraged to live the life and call of
Jesus experienced in the liturgy, or as mentioned above, live out “Jesus as
the pattern for authentic human life.”20 This liturgical call to live out the
life of Jesus closely resembles the call of the Missional movement.
A church is missional when it “is a community of God’s people
who live into the imagination that they are, by their very nature, God’s
missionary people living as a demonstration of what God plans to do in
and for all of creation in Jesus Christ.”21 A major goal of a missional
church is to encourage people to join the mission of God rather than acting
as consumers who watch from the pew. Being missional entails
participation in the story or activity of God in this world.22 This is
precisely what the Christian calendar seeks to encourage.
If the first half of the liturgical yearly cycle, the holy days, is
intended to draw the church into the mission of God in the world through
the story of Jesus, then the second half of the cycle, ordinary time, is
intended to allow the church to live out the story of Jesus in the world as it
continues God’s work and mission through the leading of the Holy
When the liturgical Christian year is viewed through the lens of the
definition of the missional church movement, three compatible points
First, both the missional church and the liturgical Christian year
move the main focus away from the church and place it on the work of
God in the world.
Second, just as the missional church focuses on living out the
biblical witness of God’s work in the world, the church, as it participates
in the liturgical Christian year, also bears witness to the story of God’s
work in God’s creation.24 As Phyllis Tickle writes, “it is the observance of
the liturgical year that tells over and over again through all the years of
our lives the Story that informs us and that we are fulfilling.”25
Finally, the missional church focuses heavily on the fact it is
through the power and participation of the Holy Spirit the church fulfills
its calling in the world.26 Webber echoes the church’s dependence upon
the Holy Spirit when he writes that “in Christian‐year worship and
spirituality we call upon God for a new breaking in, a fresh outpouring of
The wedding of the liturgical Christian year with the missional
church movement seems not only possible but also exciting and enriching.
Both share the same starting point (God), the same goal (the living out of
God’s mission in the world), and the same power source (the Holy Spirit).
This merger identifies the liturgical Christian year as a powerful tool for a
church in its desire to live out the story of God in creation.
By “practicing” the story of God in Christ, over and over, year after
year, through the liturgy of the Christian year, the church is better
equipped to leave the building and live out the story in God’s created
order. The story ceases to be something the church studies, it becomes
who the church is. Within this story and identity, the Orient Street Church
of Christ desires to grow.
Intervention and Method—Mixed Methods Research Project
I chose two different measurement tools to gather information in
determining whether or not members of the Orient Street Church of Christ
experienced spiritual growth after participating in the holy days of the
liturgical year. For the quantitative portion of my research, I used a
multiple‐choice survey.28 Researchers originally developed this brief, four
page, 30 question survey to help chaplains in the health care profession
evaluate the spiritual needs of those they were asked to serve. For the
qualitative portion, I used an appreciative inquiry, four‐question
25 Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009), xx.
26 Van Gelder, 18.
27 Webber, 38.
28 Multidimensional Measurement of Religiousness/Spirituality for Use in Health
Research: A Report of the Fetzer Institute/National Institute on Aging Working Group
(Kalamazoo, MI: Fetzer Institute). To view a copy of the survey visit:
August 18, 2015).
interview.29 The goal behind employing this measure was to discover the
‘why’ behind the outcomes of the multiple choice survey.
The first set of surveys went out to the congregation before the
beginning of Advent for the 20
Christian calendar year. I gave the
congregation the entire Bible class time to finish the surveys. Before the
members began the surveys, I read and explained the two‐page cover
letter and consent form to the congregation. I gave them time to look over
the cover letter and consent form and to ask any questions they might
have had. After signing the consent form, they filled out the survey, which
I then collected and stored in a locked drawer in my office. Consistent
with the consent form, no one but myself had access to the completed
Following the completion of the surveys, the next four Sunday
morning Bible classes introduced the congregation to the liturgical
Christian calendar. The first Sunday offered an explanation of what the
Christian calendar is, how it works, and basic definitions of the different
special days and seasons. The second Sunday took the congregation
deeper into the design and theology of the Christian calendar. We
discussed and explained the structure, colors, and symbols. The next
Sunday, the relationship of the Christian calendar to the Jewish festivals
was discussed. The relationship of the Christian calendar to the grand
narrative of Scripture and the life of Christ was explored as it relates to the
holy days of the calendar. Next I discussed the living out of the life of
Jesus by the church—the theme of ordinary time. The final Sunday
morning Bible class was dedicated to answering questions that the
congregation had about the liturgical Christian year. After addressing the
congregation’s questions and concerns, I provided the congregation with a
schedule of how the Christian year would proceed.30
The Christian New Year of 2012 began December 2 with the first
Sunday in the season of Advent. The congregation participants
experienced the liturgical Christian calendar in multiple ways. First, the
Sunday sermons focused on the seasons of the Christian calendar. The text
for the sermons followed the Scripture readings from the Revised
29 M.L. Branson, Memories, Hopes, and Conversations: Appreciative Inquiry and
Congregational Change (New York: Alban Institute, 2004).
30 To view a copy of the schedule, see Appendix 1 – Sermon Series: Liturgical
Seasons and Subjects.
Common Lectionary. Second, each Sunday the bulletin article explored an
additional facet of the current liturgical season usually deriving from one
of the lectionary readings not covered in the sermon. In addition to the
sermons and bulletin articles, informational handouts were provided to
the congregation for each of the liturgical seasons. Each seasonal handout
included a brief description of the liturgical season, the number of days,
the color, and the visuals or symbols of the season. It also listed the
lectionary readings for the duration of the season. We used liturgical
symbols and colors throughout the worship experience for the
congregation, applying each liturgical season’s color to the bulletin and
worship PowerPoint slides. I included symbols for each of the liturgical
seasons on many of the slides used during the worship services. Finally,
the congregation experienced a special Good Friday service.
For this project, the final Sunday celebrated in the holy days cycle
was Trinity Sunday, the Sunday following Pentecost Sunday, which fell
on May 26, 2013. On Sunday, June 2, 2013, I re‐administered the multiple‐
choice survey to the congregation during the Sunday morning Bible class.
Congregational participants used the whole Bible class to complete the
survey. A small percentage were not present. Over the next few weeks,
those absent had the opportunity to complete the survey. After the
participants finished filling out the survey the second time, they were
collected and stored in a locked drawer in my office. No one but myself
had access to the completed forms.
The final step was to administer the appreciative inquiry
interviews.31 I chose to wait one month from the last Sunday of the holy
days cycle to begin the surveys. This was purposeful in order to see if
involvement in the liturgical Christian year made any lasting impression
on the congregational participants. After the month had passed, I created
31 The four questions used in this appreciative inquiry were:
1. Tell me about a time when you realized that a decision you made was based
upon the meaning of the seasons of the Christian year. What was happening? Who was
involved? What was forming about this event?
2. In what ways have you seen the liberating work of confession in your life? Did
the season of Lent help in creating this environment of confession? Give a specific
example. What people were involved? What was liberating about the event?
3. Since participating in the liturgical Christian calendar, have you experienced a
new rhythm in your life? How would you describe this rhythm? How does it affect your
day? Your relationships? Your decisions?
4. Consider how participation in the liturgical Christian calendar has influenced
your view of God. How might your picture of God changed? Have you noticed an
increase in anticipation for spiritual events? If so, can you offer an example?
a schedule to meet individually with those selected to participate in the
interviews, which were held in my office at the church building. When
those volunteering to undergo the interview arrived, I explained the
survey to them. I acknowledged their rights and privacy; I gave them the
opportunity to back out of participating. All volunteers chose to continue
with the interviews. I recorded the interviews on my iPad, which is
password protected. Consistent with the consent form, no one but myself
has access to the videos.
In addition to video recordings of the interviews, I also took
handwritten notes. At the end of the interviews, each participant had the
opportunity to review my handwritten notes to make additions and to
check for accuracy. At this point, they had the option to withdraw their
interview. If they chose to withdraw, I would hand them my handwritten
notes and delete their video immediately from my computer. All
volunteers gave their approval to the notes and chose to allow their
interviews to be used for this study.
Observations, Outcomes, and Goals
1. Participating in the liturgical Christian calendar encouraged spiritual
Based on the gathered data, it is clear the inclusion of the liturgical
Christian calendar did influence the Orient Street congregation towards
spiritual formation. Of the eleven sections of spiritual life measured, the
average congregational movement was positive in all sections. Of the
thirty‐nine questions measured, all but three questions showed positive
In regards to the appreciative inquiry surveys, all responses given
were positive towards the effects of the Christian calendar. Four specific
positive examples were consistent throughout many of the interviews.
First, many felt their participation in the Christian year provided them
with a better direction for their lives. One respondent noted the rhythm of
the calendar helped bring their life into focus. Another said the story of
God that led them to faith was more clearly seen when following the
Christian calendar. The next positive example discovered in the
interviews dealt with self‐examination and judging. One person said their
experience with the liturgical calendar, particularly Lent, let them to stop
judging the faults of others and more closely examine their own lives.
Another interviewee noted how the liturgical practices caused them to
continually analyze their behavior. A new respect for confession was the
third positive aspect to be mentioned by most of those interviewed. One
person referred to confession as beautiful, while another, who had much
experience with confession through Alcoholics Anonymous, said that for
the first time they saw a connection between confession and their faith.
The final positive outcome that most all interviewees mentioned is that
their experience with the Christian calendar led to the formation of a
better picture of God. One participant added that their newfound picture
of God included a stronger realization of God’s love for them.
2. Participation in the liturgical Christian calendar had a greater effect on
Although the men of the congregation showed signs of spiritual
growth after going through the Christian calendar, the positive movement
of women within our congregation far exceeded that of men. When
evaluating the thirty‐nine questions measured, women were either equal
to or greater in percentage growth in all but eleven questions when
compared to the men.
3. For the greatest benefit, participation in the liturgical Christian
calendar needs to be an ongoing process, not a one‐time event.
The genius of the liturgical Christian year is its repetition. Although
participation in the Christian calendar produced measure of spiritual
growth, the real test comes as a congregation participates in the calendar
again and again. For example, most of those who agreed to be interviewed
stated in their interviews that they desire for Orient Street to continue
some form of participation in the liturgical Christian calendar. Of those
with this desire, some requested additional information on the different
seasons and devotional guides for Lent. They feel that these additions will
enhance their spiritual experience when living through the Christian
calendar again.32 Joan Chittister would agree:
Drawn like a magnet, year after year, into the life of Jesus in
the Gospels, the triumphs of the feasts, the lessons of the
seasons, the cycles of spiritual challenges, and the lives of
the great spiritual heroes who have gone the way before us,
the Scriptures and its scenes, the questions and answers that
32 For more on how participation in the year after year repetition of the Christian
calendar can produce greater spiritual formation, see Frank C. Senn, Christian Liturgy:
Catholic and Evangelical (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), specifically his section on
ritual, pp. 8‐9; also, Connell, pp. 4‐5.
lie there begin to sing in my heart. Every year, the images
and meanings get clearer and clearer . . . .33
Kimberlee Ireton seems to sum up the desires of these interviewees
when she writes:
Rooted in time, in community and in the greatest, truest
story of all, the church year focuses our attention, moment
by moment, season by season, year after year, on the one
thing that is needful, enabling us to enter together into the
very life of God as he enters into life with us.34
1. The Liturgical Christian Calendar, at its best, is lived out within
community and not individually.
Although the Liturgical Christian Calendar was new to the Orient
Street Church of Christ, it was not new to me. I had been intentionally
following the rhythm of the calendar for the previous five years. For me,
following the cycle of the Christian seasons felt like I was participating in
something designed just for me. It was a welcome homecoming.
Being an introvert, I had believed that it was enough for me to live
into the Christian calendar by myself. But, as we began following the
Christian calendar as a congregation, I noticed an excitement for each of
the upcoming seasons I had not experienced when following the calendar
by myself. For example, the journey through Lent took on new meaning
when given the chance to give and receive encouragement when fasting.
This excitement was not confined to my relationship with Orient
Street. I found that reaching out to the pastors of the liturgical churches in
our community also provided a sense of camaraderie I had not expected
or experienced when following the Christian calendar myself.
2. Preaching through the Revised Common Lectionary is a healthy and
disciplined experience for ministers.
The lectionary structure provides a more holistic approach to
preaching. Instead of picking and choosing—and ignoring—certain
sections of Scripture, the lectionary encourages a more encompassing
33 Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009), 42.
34 Kimberlee Conway Ireton, The Circle Of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year
(Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 16.
approach to preaching and Scripture. Thus, while preaching through the
Christian calendar and following the lectionary, the congregation and I
were called to wrestle with passages not studied before. Also the Old
Testament, especially the Psalms, played a greater role in sermon
3. It is an exciting and healthy experience to learn alongside the
congregation and not just teach towards it.
It has been my experience as a minister that most of my time is
spent teaching. Although there are members of the Orient Street
congregation who have an extensive knowledge of Scripture and
theology, most do not.
This journey through the Christian calendar has given the
congregation and me a chance to learn together, side by side, as we went
through the Christian seasons. I found it exciting to not simply share facts
and lessons but to explore scripture together with the congregation.
1. Congregational participants enjoyed the rhythm of the liturgical
One outcome of this project is the joy members received from
participating in the liturgical Christian calendar. For some, it came from a
connection to family who were already oriented to it. For others, it created
a desire to learn more about something they had never experienced. Still
for others, they found joy in learning more about God and the Trinity as
they worshiped through the story of God found in Scripture and the
2. Congregational participants want to continue with the inclusion of the
Christian calendar in the worship life of Orient Street Church.
Another outcome of this project is the desire for the Orient Street
congregation to continue the practice of following the Christian calendar.
Of those who expressed this desire, many wanted to expand the
experience. For example, they requested the church provide them with
devotional literature and guides, especially for the Lenten season. They
also asked if, in addition to the Good Friday service, the congregation
could observe a Christmas Eve and Ash Wednesday service.
3. Congregational participants connected with the larger Christian
church through participation in the liturgical Christian calendar.
One unexpected outcome was the connection created between
Orient Street and some of the liturgical Christian congregations in the
community. Some members have family in these other congregations.
Multiple people mentioned how they were able to connect with their
family on a spiritual level previously unavailable.
In addition, the articles written for the church bulletin, covering the
different liturgical seasons, were published in the two local newspapers.
This also led to a connection between Orient Street members and those in
Goals for Future Work
Based on the observations and outcomes, I concluded my project
with five goals for moving forward:
First, Orient Street will continue the practice of the liturgical
Second, the congregation will be provided devotional guides for
each liturgical season.
Third, additional liturgical events such as a Christmas Eve service
will be added.
Next, we will expand participation with community liturgical
churches in seasonal events.
Finally, although spiritual growth was identified through the
research process, actual missional behavior has not been as identifiable. A
fifth goal is to harness the missional impulse of the Christian calendar in
such a way as to infuse within the Orient Street congregation the desire to
live out the witness of Jesus experienced in the liturgical life in their
The overall response to this experiment was a positive experience
for the Orient Street Church of Christ. Spiritual growth was observed and
many have encouraged the continued practice of the Christian calendar.
Just as God, in the Hebrew Bible, worked to form the Israelite people
through their feasts and sacrificial schedule, so today, the church has the
opportunity to join in the story of God and be formed by this story so as to
incarnate the living Christ within our congregations. In doing this, we
hope to go into our community doing the work our God has prepared for
us to do.
1 S. Wesley Horn, “Formed by Time: Living the Liturgical Year,” Leaven 22 1 , ( 2014 ): 43 ‐ 44 . Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/leaven/vol22/iss1/11 (accessed August 18 , 2015 ).
2 Rodney Clapp, A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post‐Christian Society (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996 ), 119 .
3 To view a more complete description of my Doctor of Ministry project , visit: http://www.lipscomb.edu/hst/upload/file/74183/wes%20horn %20dmin%20project%20fin al%20draft‐2 .pdf (accessed August 18 , 2015 ).
4 Robert E. Webber, Ancient‐Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004 ), 21 .
5 Martin F. Connell , An Introduction to the Church's Liturgical Year (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1997 ), v.
6 C. Edward Shepard, “Observing the Christian Year as a Means of Facilitating Spiritual Growth,” Review and Expositor 106 (Spring 2009 ): 222 .
7 Richard T. Hughes, Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996 ), 1 ‐ 2 .
8 David Lipscomb, “Christmas Trees”, Questions Answered, ed. M. C. Kurfees (Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921 ), 106 ‐ 107 .
9 Foy E. Wallace Jr., Bulwarks Of The Faith (Oklahoma City: Foy E. Wallace Jr., Publications, 1951 ), 153 .
10 Roy E. Cogdill, “What is Wrong with Roman Catholicism?” in What Is Wrong? ed. Thomas L. Campbell (Delight, AR: Gospel Light Publishing Co., 1950 ), 143 .
11 Hughes, 367 . Also, see C. Leonard Allen, The Cruciform Church: Becoming a Cross‐Shaped People in a Secular World (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press, 1990 ).
12 Wes Crawford, Shattering the Illusion: How African American Churches of Christ Moved from Segregation to Independence (Abilene, Texas: Abilene Christian University Press, 2013 ), 168 ‐ 169 .
13 Holy Week Schedule available at: https://chaplainlem.wordpress.com/ 2012 /03/30/easter‐week ‐ at‐pepperdine (accessed August 28, 2013 ).
14 Ash Wednesday available at: http://www.highlandchurch.org/ash‐wednesday (accessed March 20, 2014 ).
15 40 ‐Day Events and Service Projects: Calendar for Special Events and Service Projects available at: http://www.conejochurch.org/2007/content/index.php?id=141 (accessed March 20, 2014 ).
16 John Mark Hicks, E‐mail message to the author, March 24, 2014 .
17 The noninstitutional movement within the Churches of Christ refers to congregations that believe there is no biblical authority to contribute funds from the church treasury to institutions such as children's homes, Christian colleges or schools, or mission agencies . For more information see: David Edwin Harrell, Jr., “Noninstitutional Movement,” in The Encyclopedia of the Stone‐Campbell Movement, Douglas A. Foster, et al. eds. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004 ), 567 ‐ 569 .
18 Christopher Cotton, E‐mail message to author, August 9, 2013 .
19 Josh Graves, Telephone conversation with author, August 7 , 2013 .
20 Hughes, 367 .
21 Alan J. Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2012 ), xv .
22 Craig Van Gelder, The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led by the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2007 ), 18 .
23 Bobby Gross, Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God (Downers Grove , IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009 ), 227 .
24 Darrell L. Guder, et. al., Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998 ), 11 .
S. Wesley Horn met and married his wife Rebecca while at Lubbock Christian University. They have three sons: Caleb, Noah, and Gideon. Wes received his B.A. in Liberal Arts from Lubbock Christian University in 1994 . He continued at LCU, completing his M.S. in Bible and Ministry in 1996 . Wes furthered his education by receiving a graduate certificate in Ministry Studies from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 2011 and a graduate certificate in The Radical Free Church Movement from Spurgeonʹs College in 2013 before being accepted to Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University, where he received his Doctor of Ministry on May 3, 2014 .
Wes and Rebecca began full‐time ministry work with the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen, Texas; from 1995 ‐ 2002 he served as their youth minister . From 2002 ‐ present, Wes has served as minister of the word for the Orient Street Church of Christ in Stamford, Texas.