Pause & Reflect: The World
by Gavin Bennett & Bethany Allen
Begin with prayer (5 minutes)
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.
Read this Overview
Taking time and space to pause and reflect is an integral rhythm in the life of an apprentice of Jesus. Doing so gives us better perspective into where we have come from and where we are going. With that in mind, we want to take time and inventory how the third part of this Practice—the World—has changed us and to consider how we need to integrate its truths into the rhythm of our lives. With so much new information, it can be tempting to let truth wash over us without letting it transform us. The goal of our time together tonight is to call to mind those truths God revealed to us during this Practice, and distill them into actions that will help us in our journey of spiritual formation as apprentices of Jesus.
Do this Practice as a Community right now: (30-45 minutes)
1. Reflect On What You’ve Learned
Begin your time tonight with a discussion around some of the most impactful ideas that you have learned in the third part of this series. Work through some or all of following questions together:
- In this part of the Practice, we explored the current colonization of the church by the thoughts and philosophies of the culture at large. Was this a new idea for you? How does it shift your thinking about following Jesus in our city?
- Throughout history, one of the ways in which the church has fought personal and ideological colonization by the world was by maintaining a rhythm of Silence & Solitude in their lives. As your Community revisited this ancient Practice, did you find it helpful? If so, how? If not, why do think that was?
- Much of what our generation calls “culture,” Jesus and the writers of the Bible simply call “the world.” As your Community went through the Idea Audit, what did you learn about the ways in which you engage culture?
- In a letter, Paul tells Timothy that God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but “of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1v7) How can apprentices of Jesus engage the world without fear?
- What other Practices do you think could help you in your fight against the world?
2. Talk Through Next Steps
Next, break into smaller groups of 3 or 4 and spend some time discussing the following questions.
- In response to all that you’ve learned, what is one thing that you need to change in your life regarding your discipleship to Jesus?
- In tandem with the Holy Spirit, how are you going to make this happen? What help might you in need in order to make this happen (from God, Community, or other sources)?
Lastly, spend some time in your smaller groups praying for each other. Ask Jesus to continue to break off the lies that are holding us back, to reveal negative spiritual strongholds that we may not be aware of, and to give us the strength and discipline to put into place any changes we need to make in our lives, as revealed by the Holy Spirit.