As we turn toward participation we now can see that most of religious and church history has been largely preoccupied with religious ideas, about which you could be wrong or right. When faith is all about ideas, you do not have to be part of it; you just need to talk correctly about it. You never have to dive in and illustrate that spiritual proof is only in the pudding.
The spiritual question is this: Does one’s life give any evidence of an encounter with God? Does this encounter bring about in you any of the things that Paul describes as the “fruits” of the spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22)? Are you different from your surroundings, or do you reflect the predictable cultural values and biases of your group?
The “participatory turn” is learning from concrete practices, personal disciplines, and interactive dialogues that change the seer and allow and encourage the encounter itself. Many Christians today are rediscovering prayer beads, prayer of quiet, icons, contemplative sits, Taizé chants, charismatic prayer, walking meditation, Zen chores, extended silence, solitude, and disciplined spiritual direction. Up to now, you could have a doctorate in theology as a Catholic or Protestant and not really know how to pray or even enjoy prayer (experienced union), although you could recommend it officially to others and maybe even define it. Now we know that we must personally live our faith.
I hope you will dive into your faith and experiment with ways of opening yourself to transformation, to encounter, to conscious participation in God.