We move our membership at NLF a few years ago to a Rule of Life in order to focus more clearly and succinctly on how we do spiritual formation. The commentary on our NLF Rule of Life can be read online. The image of our need for a “trellis” or structure to provide rhythm to our days and order to our lives has been immensely helpful. At the same time, we continue to look for ways to communicate our DNA and clarify the pathways to help people in our community move towards greater Christlikeness. The following reflect, of course, our local church and context. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. We call them the 5 M’s.(the values and foundations of NLF) Monastic – slowing down to be with God. Growth in this area includes learning about silence/solitude, Daily Offices/prayer, Sabbath-keeping, Scripture, the examen. Multiracial– bridging racial,cultural, economic and gender barriers. Growth here includes learning about. Read more.
I recently finished Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry (IVP,2008). I enjoyed it thoroughly and found a number of valuable insights for my own leadership at New Life. I recommend it to you. One unique insight was to clearly articulate the values of your leadership team as you enter into challenging, difficult discussions. The following is my first draft for our NLF staff team (Her team’s can be found on pp.176-178 of her book). 1. Personal Spiritual Transformation – We consistently labor to maintain balance in our lives as leaders, ensuring that we have time for prayer, rest, healthy relationships (play) and work. Our rhythms are our first work and foundational for both our lives and leadership. 2. Community – We are a microcosm of the larger New Life and seek to maintain and build unity in our relationships as Christ did with the Twelve. While the work itself can easily distract us away. Read more.
I just finished reading Community of the Transfiguration: The Journey of a New Monastic Community by Paul Dekar. It is the story of a 25 year journey of a small, missional, evanglical Baptist church in Australia moving from a church to a community to a monastery within their denomination! Can you imagine an intentional monastic community within an evangelical denomination today in North America? Paul Dekar, the author, is a professor at Memphis Theological Seminary. He presents a strong argument in his opening chapter that every 400 years in the West there is an upsurge in monastacism, and we are now living in the beginning of such an new movement. What makes this unique, in his opinion, is that it seems to be emerging within Protestantism and not Catholicism or the Orthodox church. I am not sure about these trends of church history, but I am sure that something radical is desperately needed and that monastacism holds a. Read more.