Crafting a Rule of Life
“… Most of us are educated way beyond our obedience already … Most of us don’t need to learn more as much as we need to learn to obey more with what we already know. The Shema (Deuteronomy 4:6-9) reminds us that there should be no difference between knowing and doing … the goal of this passage is to take what we know in our head and incorporate that into our life.”
Pastor Kyle Trigg challenged us last weekend to think about how we can become more intentional with our spiritual habits as we begin a new year (watch Faith at Home – Rhythm of Life, January 6/7, 2024).
If you’re familiar with vineyards or gardening, have you ever noticed how a trellis encourages growth? Like a trellis that supports a vine, A Rule of Life is about building a framework for growing a faith that forms and informs every part of our lives. As the world becomes more complex and we face an unknown future, how do we create a Rule of Life to guide our intentions in 2024?
How can we be sure that we don’t just “go to church” but we’re actually having our lives formed by the ways and practices of Jesus?
Using inspiration and resources from Ken Shigematsu, John Mark Comer, Justin Whitmel Earley, The Good Way and others, Kyle compiled a “Rule of Life: 8 Practices” template, designed as a “trellis” to help us get started, get organized, and help us flourish. Use it as a guide to help you craft your own Rule of Life!
My Rule of Life: 8 Practices
Shared spiritual practices to consider are listed below:
1. Prayer and Silence
A daily rhythm of prayer
A life deeply rooted in the Bible
3. Sabbath & Stillness
A regular rhythm of Sabbath
4. Simplicity & Generosity
A life marked by simplicity and generosity
Active participation in the family of Jesus
6. Hospitality & Helping
A lifestyle of Christ-like hospitality & helping
7. Vocation & Mission
A pursuit of justice and peace in our activities
8. Health & Maturity
A pursuit of spiritual, emotional, & physical maturity
The right side of the guide is blank – take time to pray and reflect; write down what you need to do to put each practice into action. If it seems too daunting, start with just a few or even one. Here are some specific examples of actionable steps to help get the ideas flowing:
Prayer and Silence
- Pray each morning for 15 minutes before looking at my phone
- Pray 2 times throughout the day
- Pray the examen at the end of each day
- Practice silence 2 times a day
Sabbath and Stillness
- Pick a 24-hour period and change your pace
- Put up borders and boundaries in your life that cannot be compromised
Simplicity and Generosity
- Tithe monthly to the church
- Support FAC International Workers
- Set aside some money a month as a blessing fund (even just cash on hand to bless someone unexpectedly!)
- Talk to an accountability partner for any purchase over $100
- Live as generously as I can until I feel it
- Monthly dates and weekly check-ins
- Visit a family member once a month
Hospitality & Helping
- Have 1 meal with someone a week
- Start helping in 1 area of the church
Vocation & Mission
- What practices can I incorporate into my vocation/calling?
- How can I incorporate sharing Jesus with that sphere of my world?
Health & Maturity
- Set a time for exercise daily
- Booking an appointment with someone to talk through an issue
- Developing a hobby
“I believe with all of my heart that God’s most powerful work in our church and in our city is yet to come … the question is, are we ready to join Jesus in this? Do we have the structures built into our lives to join in?” Pastor Kyle asks.
Remember, every stage of life is different. Your Rule of Life will likely change each year as you grow, mature, and adapt to life circumstances. Let’s think through how we can shape our lives in 2024 in a God-ward direction. If you need guidance, reach out to a trusted friend or let us know; we’d love to help!
You might also be interested in …
- Watch: “Faith at Home – Home for the Holidays” service (December 30/31, 2023)
- “In Habit” teaching series (January 2023)
- Life on Life Discipleship
- Practical Steps for Faith at Home blog article