Information alone is not enough to produce formation.
We need to practice Jesus’ teachings, to get his ideas from our minds into the muscle memory of our bodies. We do this by adopting practices from Jesus’ own life, time-tested disciplines for the spiritual life that open up our entire being to God and allow him to transform us into people of love. Our nine core Practices work together to form a Rule of Life for the modern era.
How It Works
The Practices are designed to be done over four weeks in a small group. The weekly gathering for teaching and conversation is one hour long. We curate modern and ancient formation voices as we offer recommended reading, and weekly Reach Exercises for those that want to dig deeper.
An ancient way to find rest for your soul.
The Sabbath is a 24-hour time period set aside to stop, rest, delight, and worship. It is the best day of the week. In our era of chronic exhaustion, emotional unhealth, and spiritual stagnation, few things are more necessary than the recovery of this ancient practice.
Week 01: Stop
The word “sabbath” means “to stop.” In Genesis, God worked for six days but then he rested on the seventh. In doing so, he built a rhythm into the fabric of creation. When we live in alignment with this ancient rhythm, we find peace and joy, but when we fight it, we fracture our souls.
Week 02: Rest
We hear about Sabbath rest and we imagine sleeping or taking a day off to chill. But Sabbath rest is a form of resistance. There are powerful forces — both external and internal — that war against a Sabbath spirituality. To sabbath will require that we resist.
Week 03: Delight
Sabbath is not an onerous day for dour religious duty but a life-giving day of delight — a weekly party. It’s a full day set aside to celebrate our life with God in his world. And it’s designed to be done in community, not alone. Few things are more provocative in the modern world than communities of joy.
Week 04: Worship
Sabbath isn’t just a day to stop, rest, and throw a feast in community. Ultimately, it’s a holy day — set apart for and dedicated to God himself. Early Christians called it “the Lord’s day.” It’s a weekly day of worship by which we cultivate a spirit of worship all week long.
Pursue a deeper life of union with God.
Prayer is simply the medium through which we communicate and commune with God. The practice of prayer is learning to set aside dedicated time to intentionally be with God, in order to become like him and partner with him in the world.
Week 01: Talking to God
When the disciples asked Jesus, “teach us to pray,” in Luke 11, Jesus gave them a pre-made prayer, or what some call a liturgy, to pray to God. In various seasons of our lives when we’re exhausted, tired, traveling, grieving, doubting, or distracted, liturgies can carry us through and guide our prayers. As we learn the pragmatics of prayer, we’ll begin habituating and fine-tuning a daily prayer rhythm.
Week 02: Talking with God
As disciples of Jesus, we long to pray our own words and share what’s on our minds and hearts. In prayer, we bring our pain, hopes, joys, and fears to God in a personalized way. Gratitude, lament, and petition or intercession are all dimensions of talking with God that we can spend a lifetime exploring.
Week 03: Listening to God
Prayer is not just when we talk but when we listen. To hear his voice. As Jesus said in John 10v27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” This is a Spirit-generated desire in the heart of a disciple of Jesus.
Week 04: Being with God
There comes a point in our spiritual journey when prayer goes beyond words to simple loving presence, or what the ancient Christians called “union” with God. This type of prayer has come to be called “contemplation,” based on 2 Corinthians 3v18. To contemplate is to look, to gaze upon the beauty of God, receiving his love pouring out toward you in Christ and by the Spirit, and then giving your love back in return.
What if we are missing out on one of Jesus’ most essential practices?
Fasting is going without food for a set amount of time to awaken our body and soul to our deep hunger and need for God. It’s one of the most powerful — and neglected — of all of Jesus’ practices.
Week 01: To Offer Ourselves to Jesus
Very few modern Western followers of Jesus fast. But through the history of the church, it was considered just as central as reading the Bible or gathering for church. Fasting is one of the best disciplines we have to reintegrate our mind to our body and offer our whole selves to God in surrender.
Week 02: To Grow in Holiness
Fasting has many physical benefits for our bodies that mirror how it benefits our souls — our whole person. As we grow in our theology of the body, we learn how the fight for holiness involves our whole selves, including our bodies.
Week 03: To Amplify Our Prayers
All through the library of Scripture, fasting is a powerful aid and amplifier to pray. When God’s people fast and pray, miracles happen, again and again.
Week 04: To Stand with the Poor
Fasting is not only about ourselves: It’s also a vehicle for biblical justice, for remembering the needs of our neighbors near and far. For acting on those needs, standing against evil while standing for God’s kingdom.
Distraction is one of the greatest threats to spiritual health in the modern world.
We all feel it — we’re bombarded by noise like never before. Jesus has an invitation for us: Step away from it all to be alone with him, for the sake of our souls and the sake of others.
Week 01: The Quiet Place
Distraction is a threat to our minds, bodies, and souls. But through solitude, we’re invited into Jesus’ pattern of retreating from distractions to be fully present with the Father and returning to serve in community.
Week 02: Encounter with Our Self
Solitude can be deeply refreshing, but just as often it can feel like painful emotional surgery. As we notice and name the pain we’ve been avoiding through distraction, God forms us into the people he’s always desired us to become.
Week 03: Encounter with Our Enemy
Jesus and his early followers fought battles in solitude. As we face resistance from three enemies of our soul — the world, the flesh, and the devil — in solitude, we learn to fight lies by listening carefully for God’s voice in Scripture.
Week 04: Encounter with Our God
Through solitude, we create space for God’s presence, speaking and listening to God and simply loving him and being loved. Solitude allows the Spirit of God to interject his thoughts and desires into our souls.
Fueled by Generosity
Practicing the Way is made possible by one-time gifts and a growing group of monthly givers called The Circle. Practices, courses, podcasts, and other resources are completely free, helping churches train people to follow the Way of Jesus. Studies labeled coming soon are still in the process of being funded.
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