Resources for Deepening Discipleship in the Diocese of London
LENT LISTENING GROUPS:
For more information about our diocesan 2024 Lent offering, click here.
On this page you can find a summary and overview of our Way of Life resources for churches, aiming to help us connect more deeply with God and connect God with the whole of our lives. To access a pdf containing these resources and/or to sign up to the Way of Life newsletter, click here. If you are interested in receiving a hard copy, please email our Discipleship Enabler Mirjam.
‘Following a shared Way of Life has helped people in our church in different ways: some have been encouraged in their praying, others have learned to discern when God is speaking, and some have become more confident about their faith in the workplace.’
Rev Simon Reed, Church of the Ascension, Ealing
WHAT IS A WAY OF LIFE?
In the book of Acts, the first Christians were known as those who ‘belonged to the Way’. Our faith is not just about believing in Jesus, but about expressing this by the way we live. A Way or Rule of Life – as a ‘handbook’ for how a Christian community might live together – dates back to the monastic communities of the third century.
These resources aim to help us formulate our shared Way of Life in the context of our church community and covers the following aspects:
It introduces a Way of Life Framework, consisting of three common discipleship movements,around which churches might build their shared Way of Life.
It provides churches with tools to Discern a shared Way of Life for their church community, taking into account their unique context and calling.
It offers examples of different Ways of Life and a Practice Toolkit to help churches on their way as they discern the patterns and practices that will help them embody their shared Way of Life.
As explained within the resources, this is not about starting something completely new, but about becoming more aware of what we are already doing to grow our faith and more intentional about how we want to be shaped and formed going forward.
OFFER OF A WAY OF LIFE FRAMEWORK
Our Way of Life framework consists of three common discipleship movements – inspired by Micah 6:6-8 and John 6:12-19 – around which churches might build their shared Way of Life:
This first movement is the foundation of all other movements and is simply about being with God, or in the words of Micah, to walk with God.
This second movement is about the community of people with whom we live out our faith. It includes spending time reflecting on our faith and sharing life together.
The third movement is about serving others and doing justice. It naturally flows out of the time we have spent with God and in community and brings healing to our world.
‘Committing to a shared Way of Life is, I believe, helping me to become the person that God wants me to be. It shapes the pattern of my spiritual life and helps me remain focused on God in the decisions and actions of my everyday life.’
Emma Bresslaw, Member of the Nazareth Community
DISCERNING A SHARED WAY OF LIFE
Crafting a shared Way of Life for our church community involves a process of prayerful discernment. We take into account our unique context and calling. What might be our gift to the world?
Ideally, this process will be started off with a Quiet Day, with plenty of space for both personal as well as group reflection. This will be followed by a 6-12 month process of discernment and experimenting with different practices. It might lead to a service of commitment to a shared Way of Life.
To help us on our way, this tool encourages a four step discernment process:
What is our current way of life: what is bringing life, where is our energy drained and what are our hopes going forward?
‘A Way of Life was once described to me by a wise sage as a measure of a well-lived, full life. It has been one of the most life-giving practices I have come across in my faith journey. It has helped me reflect on what matters most for me in connecting with God, myself and others.’
Revd Rachel Greaves-Brown
Part One: The ‘Way of Life’ of the Nazareth Community at St Martin-in-the-Fields,
by Emma Bresslaw.
In this first of three short articles, Emma Bresslaw describes her experience of participating in a contemporary path of Discipleship.
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