One question clergy probably get more than a few times every month is: “How do I grow deeper in my relationship with Christ and grow deeper as a disciple?”
Usually, the conversation begins with admitting the obstacles in our path: “How do we pursue a Christian life of holiness when there are so many different pulls in different directions? It’s difficult to find the time for worship, yet alone devotion or study.”
Generally, we listen, give them ideas of classes, studies, books…but then it happens. Every time…about twenty minutes into the conversation the wheels start spinning in someone’s mind and even if they don’t say the words out loud, I can hear the questions they really want to ask:
“If I do try to put aside time each day or even once a week – where do I start? Reading scripture? Disciple Bible Study? What Bible do I use – can I ask that without being judged? What if I can’t get past Leviticus and those laws? Am I expected to know where everything is in the Bible first? What if I ask the wrong question? I talk to God all the time, but is that really prayer? How do I know if I am doing it right? Do I have to journal? How do I love others? Does that mean everyone? What if I fall asleep every time I start my nightly prayers or morning devotional?”
…and so on….and so on.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, didn’t mean to start a new church. Methodism was a movement that began with him, his brother, and some fellow students. They began to meet and encourage one another in their pursuit of discipleship – shaping their souls so that everyday life was different. John Wesley realized one of the easiest ways to begin this journey was to ask questions – questions that cut through all of the noise and distraction, and deepened the heart of what he called the “all together Christian.” Not that these people always had it “all together,” but they saw all aspects of their life (work, family, money, talents, passions, etc.) as being “all together” in the pursuit of God.
Our entire congregation…everyone who worships, studies, and serves at St. Luke’s is studying 21 Questions for 21 days. 21 Questions for 21 days to start a habit of daily self-reflection and examination of our relationships with God, others, and ourselves. One heart examination question and prayer every day for 21 days learning to act intentionally and consistently to point our daily lives toward living the greatest commandment:
Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength, and love others as you love yourself. Everyone, young and most senior, studying, praying and reflecting on the same question each day for 21 days. Imagine what could happen?
This is the new sermon series for the next 21 days beginning on Sunday. But trust me, we wouldn’t let you do it all by yourself. This after all, like in John Wesley’s day, is the beginning of a Movement.
- There is an easy-to-use book for daily reading with prompts about the question, Scripture and prayer. We invite you to come and purchase the book on Sunday or download a digital copy. We will preach about the three overall topics and then you begin to read the corresponding week’s questions on Sunday evening.
- There will be new classes starting based on the book so we can work through it together.
- We will have other helpful tools each week as a reminder of the power of these questions.
I’ll be honest, these questions aren’t always easy and they don’t let you stay on the surface of faith. These questions make you dig deep and think about spiritual journey and disciplines in new ways. The habit of living them each day will also carve out that time you have been looking for to start a deeper journey with God. But the questions are life-giving and changing, and I promise they will help you grow deeper in your walk.
Join Pastor Corey and me in worship on Sunday as we focus on the first seven questions around the goal of our relationship with God: an upward focus. On Sunday at 11:00 a.m. in Traditional worship we will also be giving out Bibles to our kindergarteners. It’s always exciting to be able to start them on their own faith journey, so if you haven’t already signed up your child or grandchild to receive a Bible, please click here.
Ready to start a new habit? See you Sunday as we begin 21 Questions!
Grace and Peace,