A Different Approach to Christian Formation
How to disciple in urban areas is becoming an increasingly important challenge for Christians. The nature of present day economies makes it difficult for many people to commit to regular times of prayer, reading the scriptures, and regular mission. I teach pastors, congregations, and interested individuals how to seek first the kingdom of God through a 2-3 person discipleship group; a model that we call “Christian Friendship.”
Markers of this Approach
- Participants are encouraged to pray 3 times a week in order to establish a regular time of joint prayer. This habit lays the foundation for creating regular patterns of commitment. You can learn more here.
- Participants are encouraged to grow in a regular pattern of reading scripture. Using insight from a range of Christian formation practices, this website provides rough guidelines that can be used to assist in growing the length of time that someone spends in the word of God. Readings should be done individually in this model. You can learn more here.
- Participants are encouraged to naturally deepen their friendship and becoming more open about their lives. Knowing that none of us can be the Lord for another, participants are encouraged to be open with their sin without over-responding to what they hear from one another.
- Participants are encouraged to settle on one form of outreach that they can pursue. This might be service at a local homeless outreach or service with a campus ministry or other forms of outreach and service. This is better when done together with others, but can also be done vocationally or individually. Work should be done explicitly in the name of Jesus.
This model of discipleship can sit alongside traditional Church structures (small groups, affinity groups, Sunday School, etc.) and is a way of deepening one’s sense of Christian identity and mission.