A priority within our church vision is to grow as disciples of Jesus - disciples who are transformed into His likeness; open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit; praying, worshipping and reading the Bible; looking to be a gracious presence in the world; and sharing our faith with others in mission.
This is an important aspiration for the community of Christ Church to work towards with God's help. Of course discipleship is a journey, an adventure where each and every day we aim to grow even in small steps. But this isn't easy - the adventure is hard and littered with difficulties, doubts, struggles, fears and temptations.
We need practical help and guidance to enable us to focus on being disciples in every bit of life, every day of the week and not just when we gather as church.
And so this Lent we will be introducing the Five Rhythms of Grace from the Diocese of Lichfield Community of St. Chad. The Community of St. Chad booklets are available in church (£2) and they highlight the Five Rhythms of Grace whilst also providing numerous other prayer resources.
The booklet explains that: 'The five Rhythms are not rules that dictate how people behave, but rather a starting point for a process of self-examination that can help us to see what we need to do to grow as disciples of Christ.' (p3)
We have produced an accompanying leaflet which outlines how the 5 rhythms can be used to regularly review your own journey as a follower of Jesus and identify areas for further growth. It is important that as well as doing this individually we do this in community so that others can pray for us and support us. So during Lent be encouraged to get together with one or two others to create a 'growth group', or to do this as a home group.
On each Sunday during Lent we will be introducing one of the 5 rhythms through our morning sermons. In the following week home groups can explore each rhythm further to enable growth.
After Lent you can continue to review your discipleship journey regularly. This way the Five Rhythms of Grace will get in to our blood stream and enable each of us us to be shaped as disciples of Jesus who live for him every moment of every day.