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The Local Church and Monasticism… a Growing Learning Curve

Posted on April 29th, 2011

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) Monasticslowing down to be with God.   Growth in this area includes learning about silence/solitude, Daily Offices/prayer, Sabbath-keeping, Scripture, the examen. Multiracialbridging racial,cultural,  economic and gender barriers. Growth here includes learning about the history of race/women, the NT understanding of the new family of Jesus, self-awareness, intentional friendships, and becoming a life-long learner/listener. eMotionally Healthy loving ourselves and others well. Growth in this area includes quitting unhealthy spirituality, going back to go forward, receiving the gift of limits, embracing grief and loss, loving incarnationally, and learning emotionally healthy skills. Marriage to Christshaping our lives out of marriage to Him. Growth here involves learning how the invisible God is made visible through our marriage/singleness, understanding communion of person vs. using others, life out of our vocation, and biblical sexuality. Missional offering ourselves to the world. Growth in this area involves serving the poor in our local community, understanding your call to “full-time ministry,” that all of life is sacred (no sacred/secular split), and stewardship/generous giving of our money.

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