Recover God’s narrative! Grow in your ability to live a life of dwelling with God. Experience the process of your life being reordered and transformed by God. Learn how to live deeply and consistently in God’s story. Grow in your ability to bless and joyfully invite others into a life of dwelling with God.
Yes, in the last few weeks, members of the Centre for Christian Formation and Discipleship started a new journey together with believers around the world. Together they are gleaning from various Christian leaders and influencers, both past and present. They are taking a deep dive into God’s Story and looking at how His story impacts our ordinary lives, our worship, vocational calling, identity, and much more.
As they are reading, reflecting, practising and sharing with each other for these next four months; they are seeing their desires realign, and maturing as the people of God they were designed to be.
Linda from Arizona joins us and shares a bit about her journey so far …
Connection is not a word I would use when thinking of a weekly two-hour-long zoom meeting with people I have never met before. But connected is exactly how I feel when I think of Renew.
My friend mentioned this class to me and asked if I would be interested in joining. I hesitated at first because it seemed like a lot of work and a lot of commitment, but after thinking about it; I decided to join. I figured it would be a good opportunity to have something consistent in my life, seeing as how I just moved to a new city. I didn’t realize God would use this course in such a big way for me.
I have made connections with the people in this class, despite never having met all but one of them in real life. It is encouraging to see how the material has impacted different people in a variety of ways across the world. Being part of the zoom calls has helped me see the bigger picture of what God is doing and has helped me not be so concerned with my own little universe.
I have made connections with the weekly readings and the daily homework. The content is organized in such a way that it is easy to digest, but at the same time provides a challenge. Even though I have read a lot of the material presented in this class before – to have the content laid out in such an intentional way has given me new revelation and insight into how I see God, myself, and others.
Connect means to bind together in Latin. Thanks to Renew I have a deeper understanding that as humans, our purpose and design has always been to be bound together in the love and relationship of the Trinity. I am so thankful that my friend asked me to join her and the others in this class to pursue true deep and meaningful connections.
Let’s listen to Julianna who is from America, but living in Cape Town, talk about her time so far…
I’ve had several friends go through the Master’s program from the Centre for Christian Formation and Discipleship. It seemed like an incredible program but a way bigger commitment than I could make.
So, when I heard about the Renew program starting in January, I was intrigued. I hoped it would be something like the Master’s program lite. Halfway in and I’m still not certain that’s an accurate description, but whatever this is, I’m loving it!
Renew is a four-month-long experience that pairs teachings and study with practical spiritual assignments (journaling, prayer, etc.), and the best part — you are doing it within the context of community.
My small group of six women has been meeting weekly to debrief our week’s assignments, share what we are learning and watch a new teaching together – then discuss it. I’m so happy to be on this journey with these women. I feel understood in my struggles as well as supported in my attempts to apply what I’m learning.
Being in ministry for the past decade, I’m usually the one pouring into others. This felt like the first thing I’ve done in a long time that’s purely for my own personal gain. It’s not some sort of requirement for my own organization. It’s not aimed at equipping me to serve others. It’s just for me.
The first week we watched a video from the organizers and Pam looked into the camera and told me they are here for me, to love and serve me through this program. Honestly, I got a little choked up. This whole program is really thoughtfully designed to foster my spiritual development and that’s such a lovely and precious thing. It’s been really timely in my own life, and I’ve experienced so much peace and joy as I’ve dived into what are simply the basics of my faith.
My favourite part has been the first month of the course that focused on the spiritual disciplines necessary to practice the way of Jesus in my life. I’ve read books and had teachings about spiritual disciplines before, but they always ended up feeling like an overwhelming laundry list of expectations and tasks that needed to be added to my life. I would then feel like a failure when inevitably I couldn’t achieve perfection instantaneously. But in this course, for the first time in my life- these practices have felt like gifts; like real keys to the abundant life I was promised.
I grew up practising a very legalistic version of Christianity, then in my early adulthood, I swung hard over to “freedom,” which in practice often translated to laziness and convenience. Through Renew, I’m discovering a new rhythm of slowing down, but pressing in, letting go but pursuing God; making choices in my life in order to really experience God’s peace and joy in my everyday.
So, in the end, it has turned out doing this program really hasn’t just been for my own gain. I keep excitedly sharing what I’m learning with others and they in turn are being blessed as we grow together. Friends keep asking if they can join the group and I tell them all the same thing – Next time they offer this course, you should definitely join!
Immerse Yourself in His Story
Stories capture us. You and I are captured by the stories we read, watch and share with others; we’re also formed by them. Spiritual formation is the intentional process that helps us pay attention to the stories that shape us.