“Who is Dallas Willard?” Those were the words expressed to me by a church member more than twenty years ago after I had announced with great enthusiasm that Dallas Willard had agreed to come to Christ Community for a weekend conference. However, I did understand the question being raised by a thoughtful congregant because Dr. Willard had yet to become a common name in most Christian circles.
I had read a good deal of Dallas Willard’s early writings on spiritual formation. I had also spent time with Dallas and sat under his teaching in a doctoral course. I was struck by his remarkable insight and the great importance of his teaching on spiritual formation and the spiritual disciplines. I knew that Dallas Willard getting on a plane and coming to Kansas City to teach our congregation was a great gift. Those who would eventually meet and learn from Dallas Willard would also recognize what an extraordinary gift he was to our church family.
I have had several thoughtful members of Christ Community ask a similar question regarding Curt Thompson’s visit with us. “Who is Curt Thompson?” Curt Thompson is not yet a household name in Christian circles, but I believe his insightful voice in the area of spiritual formation and interpersonal neurobiology is really important. For the last several years, I have found his writings on spiritual formation, attachment theory and interpersonal neurobiology to be extraordinary for disciples of Jesus who in the power of the Holy Spirit seek greater wholeness and Christlikeness of life.
Liz and I have had the joy of spending time with Curt and have found him to be a devoted apprentice of Jesus. As a practicing psychiatrist, Curt exhibits a deep heart of empathy and authenticity that is warm, welcoming and engaging. In God’s kindness and good providence, Curt is coming to Kansas City in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic when mental health experts are telling us of the greater need to pay attention to the mental health of those we love as well as our own.
God created us as integral relational beings, and our flourishing in community encompasses our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
Our church family is truly being given a remarkable opportunity for growth and flourishing as apprentices of Jesus. If you have not yet signed up for our evening with Curt Thompson on Thursday, October 14, go register as seating will be limited. You can also watch the event on our livestream. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from such an important voice in our time, and please pray for our time together. I hope to see you in person or online October 14!