December Growth Exercises

December Overview

Over the centuries the church has known there are many ways we can participate in God’s renewing of our minds. Prayer. Worship. Simplicity. Community. Reading scripture. This Growing Disciples program has intentionally focused on some of the postures and exercises that best assist that partnership with God.

We treasure this renewal of the mind and the cultivation of our souls-- especially given the title wave of activity and distraction around us that often passes for discipleship.  Our aim has been to turn our away from being addicted to, and obsessed with, the work of the kingdom-- with little to no idea how to be with the King. Instead, the discipline of ‘doing less’, allows us to prioritise a little more time with the King of the kingdom.

At the same time, we will have engaged in a form of discipleship that is life-changing: attentive to Jesus Christ as Lord, immersed in the whole counsel of Scripture, in prayer, and in intentional actions of joyful obedience.    

The Growing Disciples program will continue next year with some new features and materials, along with the same resources available throughout this year. Your experience of the program will be greatly enriched if you do it with a friend, or group of friends, and then encourage one another with your own insights. One group recently held an afternoon ‘soiree’ where they shared their own journeys and stories from their time in Growing Disciples this year.

Perhaps you could arrange a regular meeting with your friends to do the same?

Week One Exercise: Review

It was Socrates who said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Whether you’ve been using it regularly or not, please take out the Journal you purchased at the beginning of the year. Take some time to read back over what you have written.

If you wish, review your Calendar/Schedule for the year, noting some of the more significant events that occurred. Open a new page in your Journal, and begin a new entry which begins, “2023 seems to have been the year when I learned to…”

Week Two Exercise: Reflect

Continuing your ‘examination’ of your year, this week in your journal, ask your self about the things that seem to have been important. Perhaps you learned many things (check back to last week’s journal entry), so now it is time is reflect upon them further. Of the many things you did and learned, which seem to have been most important? Why were they important?

Week Three Exercise: Remember

Looking back on your year (as you have over the past two weeks in your journal), who might you have forgotten? You may not have forgotten their name, what they did or how they intersected your life, but have you remembered them-- in the active sense?

In your journal this week, note down a short list of people whom you want to particularly remember. You might remember them by praying for them, by phoning   them, writing them a card, or even sending them a gift! Express your gratitude, your concern or your love; letting them know about the role they have played in your life this year.  

Week Four: Remember Jesus

Looking back on your year, as we have been in our journals this month, how has the Lord Jesus Christ impacted your life? What has changed? What has been unchanging? How has he revealed himself to you personally through the year? ‘Remember’ the Lord Jesus, both in your Journal, and in your prayers this week.
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