Confident Disciples: Way of Life

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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?

Resources

FileAction
Way of Life_Tools_Discernment Worksheets.pdfDownload

Who/what are the examples that inspire us?

Resources

FileAction
Way Of Life_ExamplePack.pdfDownload

Who are we becoming? What are the Postures of our shared Way of Life?

Resources

FileAction
Way Of Life_Tools_Postures Worksheets.pdfDownload

How are our lives being shaped by our shared Way of Life? Which Patterns and Practices do we want to commit to?

Resources

FileAction
Way Of Life_Tools_Patterns Worksheet.pdfDownload

PRACTICE TOOLKIT

Communal Practices

Communal Practices

Practice ‘starting’ toolkit for churches discerning a shared Way of Life.

Prayer Practices for Lent

Five ancient ways of Christian prayer to help us Stay with God.

Praying at Home

Praying at Home

Worksheet to pray the Examen as a family at home.

‘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

FIND OUT MORE

Click here to read our latest Way of Life newsletter and to subscribe.

Please do reach out to our Discipleship Enabler Mirjam Ngoy-Verhage if you would like more information.

MORE RESOURCES

Books about a shared Way of Life

The City is my Monastery

Richard Carter
(Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2019)

Creating Community: Ancient Ways For Modern Churches

Simon Reed (BRF, 2013)

Followers of The Way

Simon Reed (BRF, 2017)

The Rule of Benedict for Beginners

Wil Derkse (Liturgical Press, 2003)

Books about a personal Way of Life

Celebration of Discipline

Richard Foster (Hodder & Stoughton, 2008)

The Common Rule

Justin Early (IVP, 2019)

Crafting a Rule of Life: An Invitation to the Well-Ordered Way

Stephen Macchia (IVP, 2012)

The Deeply Formed Life

Rich Villodas (Waterbrook Press, 2021)

God In My Everything: How An Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God

Ken Shigematsu (Zondervan, 2013)

Illuminating the Way: Embracing the Wisdom of Monks and Mystics

Christine Valters Paintner (Sorin Books, 2016)

RhythmsofRenewal

Rhythms of Renewal

Rebekah Lyons (Zondervan, 2019)

Online resources

London churches with a shared Way of Life

Communities shaped around a shared Way of Life

London

National

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