Rule of life: practical steps

Over the past six posts I’ve looked briefly at each of the six dimensions of our Rule of Life. I’ve tried to suggest what it might mean in each of these dimensions to live as a disciple in the Diocese of Liverpool, as we make the inner and the outer journey together.

Here at the end of the series, and before the Summer break overtakes us all, I just wanted to make some practical suggestions for you to consider and perhaps to include in your daily and weekly routine. As with everything in the Rule of Life, let me say clearly that these suggestions are not a whole new initiative for you to pile on top of what you’re already doing. Instead of that, here are six simple suggestions for now which will help you take your place with the 60,000 other disciples in the Diocese as a practical follower of Jesus.

1.      Called to Pray.
Say the Lord’s Prayer each day. If you already pray the Lord’s Prayer as part of your daily pattern, this is great.

Before you pray it, simply say something like this in your heart: “Together with all disciples in the Diocese of Liverpool and across the world, as our Saviour has taught us, so we pray…”

2.      Called to Read.
Read a short passage from the Bible each day. Some will want to use the daily readings set by the church. There are many other reading plans, and in the next week or so I shall be offering my “Called to read: Summer challenge”, which will recommend a book of the Bible and a commentary (if it helps) for you to read over the Summer.

Before you start reading, simply say something like this in your heart: “Together with all disciples in the Diocese of Liverpool and across the world, I open my heart to God’s inspired Word.”

3.      Called to Learn.
Commit yourself to finding other people in your church, school, fresh expression or chaplaincy who want to learn together. Learning happens when we meet others, whether in person, or in the pages of a book, or online.

If you’re already in a house-group, study group or similar, simply continue. If not, talk to your church leaders about the right way to join a group.

Before you study, simply say something like this in your heart:  “Together with all disciples in the Diocese of Liverpool and across the world, we commit ourselves to learn from Jesus though His Church.”

4.      Sent to Tell.
As a disciple you will want to see more people knowing Jesus. Commit yourself to bringing one friend to church each year, and to speaking to them about your faith as and when the moment comes. Pray that you will know the right moment to invite that person.

As you pray about who to bring, simply say something like this in your heart: “Together with all disciples in the Diocese of Liverpool and across the world, I commit myself to sharing my faith with another person.”

5      Sent to Serve.
As a disciple you will want to see more justice in the world. Commit yourself to doing ten things each year that will contribute to the common good. These may include volunteering for a charity, visiting a neighbour who is unwell or housebound, campaigning on behalf of people on the edge of things, and many others. Pray that you will know the right things to do.

As you pray about what to do for justice, simply say something like this in your heart: “Together with all disciples in the Diocese of Liverpool and across the world, I commit myself to work so that God’s Kingdom may come closer.”

6     Sent to Give.
As a disciple you will want to give your time, your talents and your material resources so that God’s work may go forward. Commit yourself to a generous lifestyle that will help and bless others.

As you pray about how to live the generous life, simply say something like this in your heart: “Together with all disciples in the Diocese of Liverpool and across the world, I will seek the right way to give back to God what God has given me.”

None of this is rocket science. But if we make these simple beginnings I believe we will be sharing in God’s work in the Diocese and beyond. Resources and materials will be made available to us all over the next few months. Meanwhile, may God bless you as you take these simple steps.