Formation

Monthly Broadcast

Monthly  is a monthly list of readings for those who who are followers of Jesus that are imagining new expressions of church and/or working to become church in the neighborhood or a particular place. Every month I’ll share a few blogs and a book that I’ve found helpful as follower of Jesus in my place. If you stumble upon a resource that you find valuable, send it to me here or on Facebook and I’ll try to include it in a future week.

Blog | Micro Neighbourliness

BY Steve MacDouell

Few things encourage me like seeing everyday people—with everyday jobs, commitments, and schedules—extending small acts of presence, hospitality, and creativity in their localities. This is, in part, why I’m compelled by the notion of micro-neighbourliness: the small, patient, and practical ways that we pivot toward our localities and the people that we share them with. From supporting local entrepreneurs and tending to community gardens to hosting bonfire nights and sitting on our front porches with an openness to connection, small acts of neighbourliness deepen our local presence, move us toward the people we share proximity with, and subvert the loneliness, isolation, and fragmentation that exists in our local contexts.

Read more…

Blog | Loving Your Actual Neighbour by Walking the ‘Hood

BY Duke Vipperman

Loneliness due to a lack of face-time community is a huge challenge in Canadian society today, and Christians are not immune to this phenomenon. Across North America immigrants have been shown to feed church growth, but the longer they live in Canada, the less likely they are to remain in church.

Read more…

Blog | Loving Your "Actual" Neighbors

BY Jessica Ketola

Something pretty special is happening in and through our community. Last night, we shared a meal with our neighbors as we do every Wednesday and what goodness is found around the table! Our neighborhood meals are poppin' -- with more neighbors joining in and inviting more friends and neighbors. The last couple of weeks, we've been bursting at the seams with a count of 25!

Read more…

Book | The Kingdom Life

By Dallas Willard

For six years, spiritual formation leaders such as Dallas Willard, Bruce Demarest, and Bill Hull came together with other colleagues to create a collection of wisdom and honest personal revelation in the areas of discipleship and spiritual formation. The result is The Kingdom Life, a book that offers a fresh approach to the spiritual disciplines through a three-pronged focus on transformation, community, and outreach. Connect in a unique way with God and His kingdom by understanding how He sees grace and doctrine, brokenness and obedience, outreach and justice.

Order here…

Prayer Walking

One of the practices that I have found most important when it comes to trying to live out my faith in my neighborhood is regular prayer walks. I currently go on 2-3 intentional prayer walks through my neighborhood almost every week. They usually occur in the morning before my work day beings. I have found that these times have become refreshing to my soul and have lead to many open doors. There are days when I don’t talk to anyone except for an occasional wave or smile. I usually use this time to pray blessings over the many houses and their inhabitants  I go by or ask for God to help open door for me and my wife to build intentional relationships with my neighbors. I also often ask God to help me see what He is up to in this specific time and place. There are some days when I bump into someone and strike up conversation, help a neighbor with something, or asked to “sit a spell”. I am beginning to view these moments as answered prayers and am learning to embrace these holy interruptions. I encourage you to make prayer walking a regular practice in your week. You don’t have to go far. Maybe only around the block or down the street. You don’t have to do it for long. Got 45 minutes, Great. Got 5 minutes, Great. You just have to start somewhere.  Here are 5 helpful guidelines for prayer walking your neighborhood  from the book Communities First*.

As you walk:

  1. Pray for discernment—that God will reveal what he sees, hears, and knows about the people, events, and things of the community; that you will develop the eyes to see what God is already doing in the community and among the people.

  2. Pray for blessing—over every house and person you see and interact with; for God’s intervention in each life, so that each one can be fruitful in his kingdom.

  3. Discover the neighborhood—…take note of the gifts that exist in the community which might be a source of blessing…when they are shared.

  4. Interact with the neighborhood—talk with anyone
    who is interested about personal issues, community issues, and anything else that may come up; encourage people to share their time, talents, and belongings with each other.

  5. Look for ways to bless and intervene in the community with love and grace, as Jesus would.

 

 Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

*Van Groningen, Jay, ed. Communities First. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, 2005. 30-31. Print.