We explore embodied ways to live the Jesus life within different contexts. After a decade of experiments in different communities we have developed a “Rhythm of life” than can be contextualized in local communities. A rhythm of life is a way into following Jesus that integrates the sacred and secular as well as the spiritual formation and missional worlds. Engaging with a “rhythm of life” creates discipleship communities following Jesus in everyday life. As each community engages with God and each other they also become a redemptive presence in the worlds they inhabit. Here are some of the ways in which we cultivate rhythm of life journeys:
- A two day learning experience, tailormade to the unique journeys of the participants. Followed by a discernment conversation wherein next steps are determined.
- Staff training.
- Eldership training.
- Small group leader training.
- Writing and developing curriculum.
- Wilderness hikes for teams.
- Pastoral guidance.
- Spiritual direction.
- Strength Finder assessments
- Spiritual Formation for family workshops
- Preaching and Bible schools
Rhythm of life helped our congregation to put our vision into action. It not only made our vision more practical for our members but also the Gospel. We can be the “church” just where we are at our workplace, school, we can connect everywhere we are.
At the Foundation for a Safe South Africa (founded by Roelf Meyer) we employ the Rhythm of Life teaching tool to great effect, working with unemployed youths from disadvantaged areas. We found that the Rhythm can be very useful to teach leadership and mentoring, also in cross cultural contexts.
I found that the Rhythm of Life model can be used equally well from within a religious or secular paradigm, since the principles are timeless and the truths universal.
As elders, working mostly with young adults, we were searching for a method of studying and applying God’s Word that connected head, heart and hands. Our frustration was that our small group discussions were regularly dominated by intellectual conversations which helped little to make people better followers of Jesus in real life. Working with the rhythms gave us tools to challenge and start changing this and although we still have a way to go, “small groups” are turning into “life groups” which is great!