"Christian formation" refers to our ongoing growth and development as disciples of Jesus Christ. The term reminds us that discipleship implies a lifelong journey of transformation in which we imitate Jesus Christ with the goal of becoming more and more like Christ.
In the past, we spoke more often of “Christian Education,” a term that evokes school-related imagery such as a classroom, teacher, reading and writing. The word “formation” indicates an awareness that we are formed in Christ in all kinds of settings and through many more practices than those found in a classroom.
When we talk about formation, we often focus on Christian practices: things that we do to deepen our relationship with God and follow the Way of Jesus. A few examples of Christian practices include prayer, Bible study, forgiveness, repentance, confession, communion, foot-washing, hospitality, giving to those in need, service, leadership, reconciliation and testimony. --from the December 2011 Scattered Seeds