The WEST Institute, an extension site of Shepherds Theological Seminar,y provides an opportunity for men and women to set aside a season of their lives to study God’s word, yet if study never translates into a changed life students will look just like the Israelites of old. We must follow the God given cure. We must wash ourselves and learn to do good. We must walk with God in a genuine and authentic relationship as we walk in step with the Spirit. Authentic Christian community, "Life-on-Life", is an essential component to this.
There came a point in the history of Israel when routine and lip service replaced ardent and fearful worship of a Holy God. In growing tired or their empty sacrifices, staged gatherings, and meaningless prayers God questioned the entirety their actions calling them vain.
How easy it is to slip into a routine. As humans our flesh longs to find the path of least resistance. We often notice this downward spin in hindsight. (Isa. 1:11-17)
Jesus also warned his followers of pharisaical leaven. The cancer of living in two worlds. Having an outward external relationship with God for the purpose of being identified with God by fellow humans will only be to our detriment. What is whispered in secret will be shouted from the mountain top. (Lk. 12:1-3)
We gather together to break bread with one another and unite our lives in obedience to walk with one another. The purpose of our Family Gathering is to shine the brilliant and pure light of God’s very words into our soul that every impurity be exposed and removed. God’s word is the only cure for hearts that are prone to wonder. Our seminary students are challenged to walk in light of the Gospel.