For several weeks I have been describing the different components of the Restoration Project. The goal of this program is to deepen the spiritual life of congregations and the individuals who make them up. I described the three practices of daily prayer, weekly worship, and weekly service. The basics of our faith and tradition are taught in the classes on Basic Anglicanism, Basic Christianity, Basic Bible, and Basic Discipleship. The last component of the program is the Discipleship Group.
A discipleship group is a gathering of 3 to 8 people who are committed to growing in their love of Christ. Discipleship is, at its core, a communal activity. We make an individual commitment, but we live out that commitment in community, and that is what discipleship groups are for. These small groups are structured around seven vows. The seven vows are meant to help us grow in Christ, and they are:
- Daily prayer, striving for 20 minutes a day;
- Weekly worship;
- Weekly service, striving for an hour a week;
- Christian stewardship, working towards giving 10% to the church and to the poor;
- Reading and studying Scripture, striving for knowledge of the entire Bible;
- Discipleship – listening for God’s call on your life and acting on that call;
- Commitment to the discipleship group itself.
I formed a discipleship group in June to work out the process, develop guidelines, and to experience the blessings of a small group myself. We have been meeting on Tuesday mornings, very early, and it has been a blessing to get to know the other group members and to be held accountable in my own spiritual growth. The group makes a commitment to holding what is shared in the meetings in confidence, and then we support one another in living into the seven vows. We spent the first several weeks exploring different forms of prayer. When we are ready we will move on to one of the other vows.
Yours in Christ,