Practicing the Way of Jesus

We have a new discipleship group that has started at Girdwood Chapel, I've run around in circles trying to find the coolest name for it.  I first thought about calling it a "Life Group" since it was for a lived-out faith in the real world.  Then I thought about a "Journey Group" -- it trains us in the faith that we take on the journey life.  But now that we're actually meeting, it's beginning to be called "Discipleship Group" -- because, well, that's what it's about.

I have not done a very good job making sure we have a discipleship model in place at Girdwood Chapel.  It's not easy and, frankly, with all of the time and energy that we've needed to direct to the building it's seemed like there hasn't been any time to take on a pretty labor-intensive class on top of everything.  Whether or not there were excuses before, there are no excuses now.  Construction has slowed.  It's time.  Finally.

So, we have a group that's beginning to take shape.  Right now we're meeting after our 10 AM worship, during Sunday School time.  It's just a small group...but, then again, that's where real growth seems to occur.  All along as I've been "selling" the idea to the congregation I've been telling them that my vision was NOT of a Bible Study and NOT of a book study and NOT of a prayer group but that it would incorporate some aspect of each of these.  My vision was to have a group where we could help each other live into the life that Jesus would have us live, right now.  My vision was about trying to get our religion out of our heads and our hearts and our mouths but to get the faith of Jesus Christ into the way we live in the world.  My vision has been for a holistic faith.  And, I've been honest, my vision has been for there to be two of these groups next year and maybe more after that.   It's time to have our faith make a difference in our lives.  It's time to have some of that Wesleyan "practical divinity."

And, while, we're NOT a book study, we're starting off with a book study.  We're looking at Mark Scandrette's Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love.  I was sold merely by reading the back of the book.  There Shane Claiborne says this book:

is an invitation to love creatively and recklessly, so that we might do something to interrupt the status quo, surprise the world with God's goodness and fascinate the world with grace.

Another quote from the back:

This book provides something we urgently need today: a practice-based approach to spiritual formation...not merely engaging in pious practices, but 'learning to dance to God's song.'

And one more:

Mark Scandrette is a voice for all who are 'sensing a pull toward a spirituality that is more holistic, integrative and socially engaged.'

Practical, wise, thoughtful, grace-filled.

How bad could it be to start here?

I'm eager to practice the faith that I believe...or at least practice it better than I do now.