We try to practice a number of spiritual disciplines. These practices are not meant to impress God or attract God’s favor—rather, they allow us gradually to receive and experience the growth God intends in the life of every believer. By definition, a “discipline” does not exist for its own sake. Christian disciplines free us and train us to become, by the power of the Holy Spirit, people living effectively in accordance with the day-to-day will of God.
The Christian life is neither a list of things you are supposed to believe nor an idle soaking up of the many gifts God freely bestows. The Christian life is a strenuous one—and a rewarding one. These disciplines are never meant as a burden of guilt: none of us masters them all. Among them, we emphasize:
Prayer: Over time, consistent daily prayer familiarizes us with the subtle presence and direction of God. Through praying, we grow more able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit, always eager to guide our decisions and our lives as we are committed to obey.
Bible Study: We take the Bible very seriously but not always literally. Our daily study of it immerses our minds and spirits in the lives of those faithful who lived before us, and in the ways of God. Through the Bible we learn reliably of our Lord Jesus the Christ.
God’s Call Upon Our Lives (“Vocatio”): When by grace we offer our lives to God, we are each given a new individual purpose. We remain restless until we begin to pursue our lifelong “God assignment;” we become fulfilled as we obey God’s unique mission for us.
Mentoring: It is important, once we begin to love Jesus back, to know that the Christian life is not self-evident. It will help a great deal for each of us to enter into a relationship with someone who has gone before us, someone willing to “coach” us and encourage us.
Small Groups: God loves all 6 billion of us, but even Jesus could best influence only twelve people at a time. Through committed weekly small groups, we grow to trust one another, to experience the Holy Spirit among us, and sometimes even to love one another.
Evangelism: We have come into relationship with Jesus only because someone introduced us to Him. It becomes our joy to invite others to Him. Jesus is counting on us who know Him to be His respectful ambassadors within our circles of influence.
Tithing: An ancient Scriptural principle is to give the first ten percent of our income (and, by extension, our time, our conversation, etc.) to God—now to Christ’s Church. Our giving is anonymous, but those who tithe would not miss the blessing they receive.
Of course there are other disciplines which we fully recognize (to publicly gather to worship God, to serve Jesus through serving the poor with whom He identified, and to strategically fast, to name three more.) But a list too long becomes no list at all, and if we are observing the first seven then we give God full permission to direct us in these and in every other particular of our lives.